On Monday we learned that the auction for Straight Path Communications had reached the lofty heights of $184 per share as an unnamed bidder competed with AT&T. Well, according to reports late yesterday, that is in fact where the auction has ended. And the winner is, apparently, Verizon.
The actual announcement is probably coming later this morning, but that's what multiple reports are saying. AT&T has apparently declined to match the new bid, bringing the process to a close after a month of intrigue. The final price puts the value of Straight Path at around $3B, although we'll have to wait for the actual details.
Of course, we were all pretty sure that the unnamed bidder was Verizon, even though Verizon already has access to a pile of spectrum in the ranges available from Straight Path due to their purchase of XO. They clearly have an appetite for this spectrum as part of the 5G infrastructure build-out they are putting together. One can see where they are on that from the announcement last night with Cisco and Samsung in which they revealed their first completed 5G trial network out in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Does AT&T need to find some more of that spectrum now? Apparently they recently bought the assets of FiberTower, which came with some of that spectrum, but they may want more if they can find it.