Updated from 4:24 p.m. EDT
CNBC reported Friday afternoon that
was close to a deal to buy
According to CNBC and
The Wall Street Journal
, the Alltel assets would be divided into 24 groups, the bulk of which AT&T would buy for $2.5 billion. The divestiture was a requirement for Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with Verizon and
, to buy Alltel, which it picked up for $28.1 billion last year, a year after TPG Capital and
took the firm private. Verizon's purchase of Alltel and its roughly 13 million customers, made it the nation's largest wirless provider.
AT&T shares were down 0.8% to $25.25 in recent trading, and Verizon was down 0.03% to $29.85. Rounding out their primary competitors,
shares rose 0.4% to $5.24,
( DT) rose 1.7% to $11.06 and
fell 2.4% to $4.44.