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has emerged as one of the parties bidding for the roughly $3 billion in wireless assets

Verizon Wireless

must divest as part of its purchase of Alltel, the

Wall Street Journal


Joining AT&T among the bidders is a joint bid from private-equity firms Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, and a separate bid from Providence Equity Partners, the


reports, citing people familiar with the matter. At least one cable provider also has expressed interest, the newspaper reports.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of

Verizon Communications

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, agreed to sell the assets to get government approval for the $28.1 billion Alltel purchase, which closed last month.

AT&T is in the strongest financial position of any of the interested companies and is in a good position to walk away with a large chunk of the available assets, say the people familiar with the matter.

AT&T and Verizon Wireless have a combined 160 million subscribers, nearly 60% of the entire U.S. market.

This article was written by a staff member of