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Alltel in talks to buy Western Wireless

/ Source: Reuters

Rural U.S. telephone company Alltel Corp. is in advanced negotiations to buy Western Wireless Corp. for roughly $4 billion, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing executives close to the talks.

The report said a deal could be reached within the next week, but executives said several points were being negotiated, including the final price, and that it was possible that the talks could collapse.

As part of the deal, the report said Alltel would also assume about $2 billion of debt from Western Wireless, which operates mobile services in rural areas.

The combined companies would have about $10 billion in revenue and 9.8 million subscribers, the report said.

The companies could not immediately be reached for comment.