AT&T leads bidders in $22.5 billion U.S. spectrum auction

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FILE PHOTO: The company logo for AT&T is displayed on a screen on the floor at the NYSE in New York

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -AT&T Inc led bidders in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 5G spectrum auction of 3.45 GHz band spectrum, winning $9 billion in bids, the U.S. regulator said on Friday.

The auction generated proceeds of $22.5 billion in total, the FCC said. T-Mobile won $2.9 billion while Weminuche LLC won $7.3 billion, which some analysts and FCC documents suggest bid on behalf of Dish. Dish, which did not immediately comment Friday, confirmed in November it had filed to participate in the auction.

AT&T declined to comment.

U.S. Cellular won $580 million in bids.

The FCC said over one-third of the top 100 markets have at least four winning bidders, a broader ranger than a prior auction. The broader range and distribution of winning bidders “will increase competition by providing a diversity of wireless carriers with the midband spectrum resources needed to maintain American leadership in 5G,” it said.

“Enabling commercial use of this spectrum is important to America’s continuing economic recovery and 5G leadership,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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