February 17, 2004 - Posted at 7:23 a.m. CDT
ATLANTA, GA - Cingular Wireless is buying rival AT&T Wireless Services.
The nation's number two mobile phone provider will spend more than $40 billion for the third largest wireless carrier in the U.S.
The deal could create the nation's largest cellular subscription base, with a potential 46 million subscribers. The current market leader, Verizon Wireless, reported 37.5 million subscribers in its quarterly earnings report last month.
Cingular won a two-day bidding war for AT&T Wireless shareholders and federal regulatory authorities.
Cingular, a joint venture between SBC Communications and BellSouth, said its winning offer was $15 a share, or about $41 billion.