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AT&T’s business transaction puts pressure on smaller rivals

AT&T Inc. is putting pressure on its smaller rivals, Sprint Corp. and Dish Network Corp., to become bigger through mergers and acquisitions of other properties/companies with its latest plan to buy Leap Wireless International Inc. in a $1.2-billion bid.

Sprint will be receiving a $5-billion cash infusion from SoftBank Corp., which acquired a controlling stake in the company on July 10, in a bid to expand Sprint’s network.

Wireless industry analyst Chetan Sharma said Chicago-based U.S. Cellular, whose majority of stocks is owned by Telephone & Data Systems Inc. and is serving around 5 million customers, is also on the lookout for more deals.

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