AT&T’s proposed $4 billion purchase of Leap Wireless was approved late last week by the FCC, conditioned upon AT&T’s adherence to various requirements that are intended to alleviate competitive harms. Leap offers pre-paid, thirdgeneration CDMA and fourth-generation LTE wireless broadband services under the “Cricket” brand name to 4.57 million subscribers in 35 states. Announced last July, the transaction, in the words of an AT&T press release, is intended to give the combined entity “the financial resources, scale and spectrum to better compete with other major national providers for customers interested in low-cost prepaid service.” Addressing concerns raised by public interest groups and small mobile carriers that believe the deal has the potential to harm consumers, AT&T offered the FCC a set of voluntary commitments that include, among other things, spectrum divestitures, expanded LTE service deployment, and a pledge to honor existing CDMA roaming agreements that AT&T is assuming from Leap. In its order approving the acquisition, the FCC agreed with the claims of some petitioners that the transaction “has the potential to cause some competitive and other public interest harms in several local markets, as well as to value-conscious consumers.” Specifically, the FCC determined that the transaction was likely to impact negatively competition in certain cellular market areas in Texas, Kansas and Nevada, as well as in Spokane, Washington and Lake Charles, Louisiana. The FCC concluded, however, that the commitments offered by AT&T “will ameliorate the potential public harms and . . . will help to ensure the achievement of the asserted public interest benefits.” The spectrum divestitures agreed to by AT&T and mandated by the FCC cover between 10 MHz and 20 MHz of advanced wireless service spectrum in the aforementioned markets, as well as 10 MHz of personal communications service spectrum in one Texas market. In addition to incorporating pledges by AT&T that pertain to CDMA roaming and LTE deployment, the order also requires AT&T to (1) offer targeted rate plans “to help value-conscious and Lifeline customers,” (2) offer device trade-in credit and feature phone device trade-in programs “to certain Leap customers prior to discontinuing CDMA service in a particular area,” and (3) file quarterly reports with the FCC for the next two years that detail the company’s progress in implementing its commitments. Upon receiving news of the FCC’s decision, executives at AT&T and Leap immediately consummated the transaction, through which Cricket will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T. While applauding the conditions attached to the deal, an official of Public Knowledge maintained that “the best guarantee of consumer protection is competition, not promises.”