Verizon is buying XO Communications fiber business for roughly $1.8 billion, though the deal still needs to be approved by various government agencies and won’t be finalized until early 2017. The company is currently owned by business magnate and activist investor Carl Icahn, who started buying up XO in 2001.
For Verizon the deal will give it access to XO’s fiber and Ethernet networks, strengthening its own service by creating a denser cell network. The carrier is also set to lease XO’s wireless spectrum, with an option to buy it before the end of 2018.
According to XO CEO Chris Ancell the buyout will also bolster the smaller company. “This transaction will create a stronger provider of business broadband services for the customers of XO Communications,” he said.