FOR THE DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
WHEREAS, plaintiffs, United States of America and the State of Minnesota, filed their Complaint on September 7, 2006, plaintiffs and defendants, ALLTEL Corporation ("ALLTEL") and Midwest Wireless Holdings L.L.C. ("Midwest Wireless"), by their respective attorneys, have consented to the entry of this Final Judgment without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and without this Final Judgment constituting any evidence against or admission by any party regarding any issue of fact or law;
AND WHEREAS, defendants agree to be bound by the provisions of this Final Judgment pending its approval by the Court;
AND WHEREAS, the essence of this Final Judgment is the prompt and certain divestiture of certain rights or assets by defendants to assure that competition is not substantially lessened;
AND WHEREAS, plaintiffs require defendants to make certain divestitures for the purpose of remedying the loss of competition alleged in the Complaint;
AND WHEREAS, defendants have represented to plaintiffs that the divestitures required below can and will be made and that defendants will later raise no claim of hardship or difficulty as grounds for asking the Court to modify any of the divestiture provisions contained below;
NOW THEREFORE, before any testimony is taken, without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and upon consent of the parties, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED:
This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of and each of the parties to this action. The Complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted against defendants under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18.
As used in this Final Judgment:
A. "Acquirer" means the entity to whom defendants divest the Divestiture Assets.
B. "ALLTEL" means defendant ALLTEL Corporation, a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas, its successors and assigns, and its subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and their directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees.
C. "CMA" means cellular market area which is used by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") to define cellular license areas and which consists of Metropolitan Statistical Areas ("MSAs") and Rural Service Areas ("RSAs").
D. "Divestiture Assets" means each mobile wireless telecommunications services business to be divested under this Final Judgment, including all types of assets, tangible and intangible, used by defendants in the operation of the mobile wireless telecommunications services businesses to be divested. "Divestiture Assets" shall be construed broadly to accomplish the complete divestiture of the entire business of ALLTEL in each of the following RSA license areas as required by this Final Judgment and to ensure that the divested mobile wireless telecommunications services businesses remain viable, ongoing businesses:
provided that ALLTEL may retain all of the PCS spectrum it currently holds in each of these RSAs and equipment that is used only for wireless transmissions over this PCS spectrum, and provided that ALLTEL need not divest the assets used solely to operate ALLTEL's GSM roaming business in these RSAs, including GSM roaming contracts and equipment.
The Divestiture Assets shall include, without limitation, all types of real and personal property, monies and financial instruments, equipment, inventory, office furniture, fixed assets and furnishings, supplies and materials, contracts, agreements, leases, commitments, spectrum licenses issued by the FCC and all other licenses, permits and authorizations, operational support systems, cell sites, network infrastructure, switches, customer support and billing systems, interfaces with other service providers, business and customer records and information, customer contracts, customer lists, credit records, accounts, and historic and current business plans which relate primarily to the wireless businesses being divested, as well as any patents, licenses, sub-licenses, trade secrets, know-how, drawings, blueprints, designs, technical and quality specifications and protocols, quality assurance and control procedures, manuals and other technical information defendant ALLTEL supplies to its own employees, customers, suppliers, agents, or licensees, and trademarks, trade names and service marks or other intellectual property, including all intellectual property rights under third-party licenses that are capable of being transferred to an Acquirer either in their entirety, for assets described in (1) below, or through a license obtained through or from ALLTEL, for assets described in (2) below; provided that defendants shall only be required to divest Multi-line Business Customer contracts, if the primary business address for that customer is located within any of the four license areas described herein, and further, any subscriber who obtains mobile wireless telecommunications services through any such contract retained by defendants and who are located within the four geographic areas identified above, shall be given the option to terminate their relationship with defendants, without financial cost, at any time within one year of the closing of the Transaction. Defendants shall provide written notice to these subscribers within 45 days after the closing of the Transaction of the option to terminate.
The divestiture of the Divestiture Assets shall be accomplished by:
E. "GSM" means global system for mobile communications which is one of the standards used for the infrastructure of digital cellular service.
F. "Midwest Wireless" means defendant Midwest Wireless Holdings L.L.C., a Delaware Limited Liability Company, with headquarters in Mankato, Minnesota, its successors and assigns, and its subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and their directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees.
G. "Multi-line Business Customer" means a corporate or business customer that contracts with ALLTEL for mobile wireless services to provide multiple telephones to its employees or members whose services are provided pursuant to a contract with the corporate or business customer.
H. "Transaction" means the Transaction Agreement between ALLTEL and Midwest Wireless, dated November 17, 2005.
A. This Final Judgment applies to defendants ALLTEL and Midwest Wireless, as defined above, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them who receive actual notice of this Final Judgment by personal service or otherwise.
B. Defendants shall require, as a condition of the sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of their assets or of lesser business units that include the Divestiture Assets, that the purchaser agrees to be bound by the provisions of this Final Judgment, provided that defendants need not obtain such an agreement from the Acquirer.
A. Defendants are ordered and directed, within 120 days after consummation of the Transaction, or five days after notice of entry of this Final Judgment, whichever is later, to divest the Divestiture Assets to an Acquirer acceptable to plaintiff United States in its sole discretion upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota, or, if applicable, to a Divestiture Trustee designated pursuant to Section V of this Final Judgment. Plaintiff United States, in its sole discretion upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota, may agree to one or more extensions of this time period not to exceed 60 days in total, and shall notify the Court in such circumstances. With respect to divestiture of the Divestiture Assets by defendants or the Divestiture Trustee, if applications have been filed with the FCC within the period permitted for divestiture seeking approval to assign or transfer licenses to the Acquirer of the Divestiture Assets, but an order or other dispositive action by the FCC on such applications has not been issued before the end of the period permitted for divestiture, the period shall be extended with respect to divestiture of those Divestiture Assets for which FCC approval has not been issued until five days after such approval is received. Defendants agree to use their best efforts to accomplish the divestitures set forth in this Final Judgment and to seek all necessary regulatory approvals as expeditiously as possible. This Final Judgment does not limit the FCC's exercise of its regulatory powers and process with respect to the Divestiture Assets. Authorization by the FCC to conduct the divestiture of a Divestiture Asset in a particular manner will not modify any of the requirements of this decree.
B. In accomplishing the divestitures ordered by this Final Judgment, defendants shall promptly make known, if they have not already done so, by usual and customary means, the availability of the Divestiture Assets. Defendants shall inform any person making inquiry regarding a possible purchase of the Divestiture Assets that they are being divested pursuant to this Final Judgment and provide that person with a copy of this Final Judgment. Defendants shall offer to furnish to all prospective Acquirers, subject to customary confidentiality assurances, all information and documents relating to the Divestiture Assets customarily provided in a due diligence process except such information or documents subject to the attorney-client or work product privileges. Defendants shall make available such information to plaintiffs at the same time that such information is made available to any other person.
C. Defendants shall provide to the Acquirer and plaintiffs information relating to the personnel involved in the operation, development, and sale of mobile wireless telecommunications services in the relevant RSAs to enable the Acquirer to make offers of employment. Defendants will not interfere with any negotiations by the Acquirer to employ any defendant employee whose primary responsibility is the operation, development, or sale of mobile wireless services in the relevant RSAs.
D. Defendants shall permit prospective Acquirers of the Divestiture Assets to have reasonable access to personnel and to make inspections of the Divestiture Assets; access to any and all environmental, zoning, and other permit documents and information; and access to any and all financial, operational, and other documents and information customarily provided as part of a due diligence process.
E. Defendants shall warrant to the Acquirer that (1) the Divestiture Assets will be operational on the date of sale, and (2) every wireless spectrum license is in full force and effect on the date of sale.
F. Defendants shall not take any action that will impede in any way the permitting, licensing, operation, or divestiture of the Divestiture Assets.
G. Defendants shall warrant to the Acquirer of the Divestiture Assets that there are no defects in the environmental, zoning, licensing or other permits pertaining to the operation of each asset that will have a material adverse effect on the operator of the mobile wireless telecommunications services business in which the asset is primarily used, and that following the sale of the Divested Assets, defendants will not undertake, directly or indirectly, any challenges to the environmental, zoning, licensing or other permits relating to the operation of the Divestiture Assets.
H. Unless plaintiff United States upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota otherwise consents in writing, the divestitures pursuant to Section IV, or by a Divestiture Trustee appointed pursuant to Section V of this Final Judgment, shall include the entire Divestiture Assets, and shall be accomplished in such a way as to satisfy plaintiff United States in its sole discretion upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota that these assets can and will be used by the Acquirer as part of a viable, ongoing business engaged in the provision of mobile wireless telecommunications services. The Divestiture Assets shall all be divested to a single Acquirer. The divestiture of the Divestiture Assets, whether pursuant to Section IV or Section V of this Final Judgment,
I. At the option of the Acquirer of the Divestiture Assets, defendants shall enter into a contract for transition services customarily provided in connection with the sale of a business providing mobile wireless telecommunications services sufficient to meet all or part of the needs of the Acquirer for a period of up to one year. The terms and conditions of any contractual arrangement meant to satisfy this provision must be reasonably related to market conditions.
J. To the extent that the Divestiture Assets use intellectual property, as required to be identified by Section II.D, that cannot be transferred or assigned without the consent of the licensor or other third parties, defendants shall use their best efforts to obtain those consents.
V. Appointment of Divestiture Trustee
A. If defendants have not divested the Divestiture Assets within the time period specified in Section IV.A, defendants shall notify plaintiffs of that fact in writing, specifically identifying the Divestiture Assets that have not been divested. Then, upon application of plaintiff United States upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota, the Court shall appoint a Divestiture Trustee selected by plaintiff United States and approved by the Court to effect the divestiture of the Divestiture Assets. The Divestiture Trustee will have all the rights and responsibilities of the Management Trustee appointed pursuant to the Preservation of Assets Order, and will be responsible for:
B. Defendants shall submit a proposed trust agreement ("Trust Agreement") to plaintiffs, which must be consistent with the terms of this Final Judgment and which must receive approval by plaintiff United States in its sole discretion upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota, who shall communicate to defendants within 10 business days its approval or disapproval of the proposed Trust Agreement, and which must be executed by the defendants and the Divestiture Trustee within five business days after approval by plaintiff United States.
C. After obtaining any necessary approvals from the FCC for the assignment of the licenses of the Divestiture Assets to the Divestiture Trustee, defendants shall irrevocably divest the Divestiture Assets to the Divestiture Trustee, who will own such assets (or own the stock of the entity owning such assets, if divestiture is to be effected by the creation of such an entity for sale to Acquirer) and control such assets, subject to the terms of the approved Trust Agreement.
D. After the appointment of a Divestiture Trustee becomes effective, only the Divestiture Trustee shall have the right to sell the Divestiture Assets. The Divestiture Trustee shall have the power and authority to accomplish the divestiture to an Acquirer acceptable to plaintiff United States, in its sole judgment upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota, at such price and on such terms as are then obtainable upon reasonable effort by the Divestiture Trustee, subject to the provisions of Sections IV, V, and VI of this Final Judgment, and shall have such other powers as this Court deems appropriate. Subject to Section V.G of this Final Judgment, the Divestiture Trustee may hire at the cost and expense of defendants the Management Trustee appointed pursuant to the Preservation of Assets Order, and any investment bankers, attorneys or other agents, who shall be solely accountable to the Divestiture Trustee, reasonably necessary in the Divestiture Trustee's judgment to assist in the divestiture.
E. In addition, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, plaintiff United States, in its sole discretion upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota, may require defendants to include additional assets, or allow, with the written approval of plaintiff United States upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota, defendants to substitute substantially similar assets, which substantially relate to the Divestiture Assets to be divested by the Divestiture Trustee to facilitate prompt divestiture to an acceptable Acquirer.
F. Defendants shall not object to a sale by the Divestiture Trustee on any ground other than the Divestiture Trustee's malfeasance. Any such objections by defendants must be conveyed in writing to plaintiffs and the Divestiture Trustee within 10 calendar days after the Divestiture Trustee has provided the notice required under Section VI.
G. The Divestiture Trustee shall serve at the cost and expense of defendants, on such terms and conditions as plaintiff United States approves, and shall account for all monies derived from the sale of the assets sold and all costs and expenses so incurred. After approval by the Court of the Divestiture Trustee's accounting, including fees for its services and those of any professionals and agents retained by the Divestiture Trustee, all remaining money shall be paid to defendants and the trust shall then be terminated. The compensation of the Divestiture Trustee and any professionals and agents retained by the Divestiture Trustee shall be reasonable in light of the value of the Divestiture Assets and based on a fee arrangement providing the Divestiture Trustee with an incentive based on the price and terms of the divestiture, and the speed with which it is accomplished, but timeliness is paramount.
H. Defendants shall use their best efforts to assist the Divestiture Trustee in accomplishing the required divestitures including their best efforts to effect all necessary regulatory approvals and will provide any necessary representations or warranties as appropriate related to sale of the Divestiture Assets. The Divestiture Trustee and any consultants, accountants, attorneys, and other persons retained by the Divestiture Trustee shall have full and complete access to the personnel, books, records, and facilities of the businesses to be divested, and defendants shall develop financial and other information relevant to the assets to be divested as the Divestiture Trustee may reasonably request, subject to reasonable protection for trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information. Defendants shall take no action to interfere with or to impede the Divestiture Trustee's accomplishment of the divestitures.
I. After its appointment, the Divestiture Trustee shall file monthly reports with plaintiffs and the Court setting forth the Divestiture Trustee's efforts to accomplish the divestitures ordered under this Final Judgment. To the extent such reports contain information that the Divestiture Trustee deems confidential, such reports shall not be filed in the public docket of the Court. If the Divestiture Trustee designates any information as "confidential" in any report or notice he submits pursuant to this Final Judgment, within five business days after the submission of such report, any plaintiff that objects to the designation of information as "confidential" will notify the Divestiture Trustee. Such reports shall include the name, address, and telephone number of each person who, during the preceding month, made an offer to acquire, expressed an interest in acquiring, entered into negotiations to acquire, or was contacted or made an inquiry about acquiring, any interest in the Divestiture Assets, and shall describe in detail each contact with any such person. The Divestiture Trustee shall maintain full records of all efforts made to divest the Divestiture Assets.
J. If the Divestiture Trustee has not accomplished such divestitures within six months after its appointment, the Divestiture Trustee shall promptly file with the Court a report setting forth (1) the Divestiture Trustee's efforts to accomplish the required divestitures, (2) the reasons, in the Divestiture Trustee's judgment, why the required divestitures have not been accomplished, and (3) the Divestiture Trustee's recommendations. To the extent such reports contain information that the Divestiture Trustee deems confidential, such reports shall not be filed in the public docket of the Court. The Divestiture Trustee shall at the same time furnish such report to the plaintiffs, who shall have the right to make additional recommendations consistent with the purpose of the trust. The Court thereafter shall enter such orders as it shall deem appropriate to carry out the purpose of the Final Judgment, which may, if necessary, include extending the trust and the term of the Divestiture Trustee's appointment by a period requested by plaintiff United States upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota.
K. After defendants transfer the Divestiture Assets to the Divestiture Trustee, and until those Divestiture Assets have been divested to an Acquirer approved by plaintiff United States pursuant to Sections IV.A and IV.H, the Divestiture Trustee shall have sole and complete authority to manage and operate the Divestiture Assets and to exercise the responsibilities of the licensee, and shall not be subject to any control or direction by defendants. Defendants shall not use or retain any economic interest in the Divestiture Assets transferred to the Divestiture Trustee, apart from the right to receive the proceeds of the sale or other disposition of the Divestiture Assets.
L. The Divestiture Trustee shall operate the Divestiture Assets consistent with the Preservation of Assets Order and this Final Judgment, with control over operations, marketing, and sales. Defendants shall not attempt to influence the business decisions of the Divestiture Trustee concerning the operation and management of the Divestiture Assets, and shall not communicate with the Divestiture Trustee concerning divestiture of the Divestiture Assets or take any action to influence, interfere with, or impede the Divestiture Trustee's accomplishment of the divestitures required by this Final Judgment, except that defendants may communicate with the Divestiture Trustee to the extent necessary for defendants to comply with this Final Judgment and to provide the Divestiture Trustee, if requested to do so, with whatever resources or cooperation may be required to complete divestiture of the Divestiture Assets and to carry out the requirements of the Preservation of Assets Order and this Final Judgment. Except as provided in this Final Judgment and the Preservation of Assets Order, in no event shall defendants provide to, or receive from, the Divestiture Trustee or the mobile wireless telecommunications services businesses to be divested any non-public or competitively sensitive marketing, sales, pricing or other information relating to their respective mobile wireless telecommunications services businesses.
VI. Notice of Proposed Divestitures
A. Within two business days following execution of a definitive divestiture agreement, defendants or the Divestiture Trustee, whichever is then responsible for effecting the divestitures required herein, shall notify plaintiffs in writing of any proposed divestiture required by Section IV or V of this Final Judgment. If the Divestiture Trustee is responsible, it shall similarly notify defendants. The notice shall set forth the details of the proposed divestiture and list the name, address, and telephone number of each person not previously identified who offered or expressed an interest in or desire to acquire any ownership interest in the Divestiture Assets, together with full details of the same.
B. Within 15 calendar days of receipt by plaintiffs of such notice, plaintiffs may request from defendants, the proposed Acquirer, any other third party, or the Divestiture Trustee if applicable additional information concerning the proposed divestiture, the proposed Acquirer, and any other potential Acquirer. Defendants and the Divestiture Trustee shall furnish any additional information requested within 15 calendar days of the receipt of the request, unless the parties shall otherwise agree.
C. Within 30 calendar days after receipt of the notice or within 20 calendar days after plaintiffs have been provided the additional information requested from defendants, the proposed Acquirer, any third party, and the Divestiture Trustee, whichever is later, plaintiff United States upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota, shall provide written notice to defendants and the Divestiture Trustee, if there is one, stating whether it objects to the proposed divestiture. If plaintiff United States provides written notice that it does not object, the divestiture may be consummated, subject only to defendants' limited right to object to the sale under Section V.F of this Final Judgment. Absent written notice that plaintiff United States does not object to the proposed Acquirer or upon objection by plaintiff United States, a divestiture proposed under Section IV or Section V shall not be consummated. Upon objection by defendants under Section V.F, a divestiture proposed under Section V shall not be consummated unless approved by the Court.
Defendants shall not finance all or any part of any divestiture made pursuant to Section IV or V of this Final Judgment.
VIII. Preservation of Assets
Until the divestitures required by this Final Judgment have been accomplished, defendants shall take all steps necessary to comply with the Preservation of Assets Order entered by this Court and cease use of the Divestiture Assets during the period that the Divestiture Assets are managed by the Management Trustee, except to the extent use of such assets is permitted under Section XI. Defendants shall take no action that would jeopardize the divestitures ordered by this Court.
A. Within 20 calendar days of the filing of the Complaint in this matter, and every 30 calendar days thereafter until the divestitures have been completed under Section IV or V of this Final Judgment, defendants shall deliver to plaintiffs an affidavit as to the fact and manner of its compliance with Section IV or V of this Final Judgment. Each such affidavit shall include the name, address, and telephone number of each person who during the preceding 30 days, made an offer to acquire, expressed an interest in acquiring, entered into negotiations to acquire, or was contacted or made an inquiry about acquiring, any interest in the Divestiture Assets, and shall describe in detail each contact with any such person during that period. Each such affidavit shall also include a description of the efforts defendants have taken to solicit buyers for the Divestiture Assets, and to provide required information to prospective Acquirers, including the limitations, if any, on such information. Assuming the information set forth in the affidavit is true and complete, any objection by plaintiff United States upon consultation with plaintiff Minnesota, to information provided by defendants, including limitation on information, shall be made within 14 calendar days of receipt of such affidavit.
B. Within 20 calendar days of the filing of the Complaint in this matter, defendants shall deliver to plaintiffs an affidavit that describes in reasonable detail all actions defendants have taken and all steps defendants have implemented on an ongoing basis to comply with Section VIII of this Final Judgment. Defendants shall deliver to plaintiffs an affidavit describing any changes to the efforts and actions outlined in defendants' earlier affidavits provided pursuant to this section within 15 calendar days after the change is implemented.
C. Defendants shall keep all records of all efforts made to preserve and divest the Divestiture Assets until one year after such divestitures have been completed.
A. For the purposes of determining or securing compliance with this Final Judgment, or of determining whether the Final Judgment should be modified or vacated, and subject to any legally recognized privilege, from time to time duly authorized representatives of the United States Department of Justice, including consultants and other persons retained by the United States, shall, upon written request of a duly authorized representative of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, and on reasonable notice to defendants, be permitted:
B. Upon the written request of a duly authorized representative of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, defendants shall submit written reports, under oath if requested, relating to any of the matters contained in this Final Judgment as may be requested.
C. No information or documents obtained by the means provided in this section shall be divulged by plaintiff United States to any person other than an authorized representative of the executive branch of the United States or, pursuant to a customary protective order or waiver of confidentiality by defendants, the FCC, except in the course of legal proceedings to which the United States is a party (including grand jury proceedings), or for the purpose of securing compliance with this Final Judgment, or as otherwise required by law.
D. If at the time information or documents are furnished by defendants to plaintiff United States, defendants represent and identify in writing the material in any such information or documents to which a claim of protection may be asserted under Rule 26(c)(7) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and defendants mark each pertinent page of such material, "Subject to claim of protection under Rule 26(c)(7) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," then plaintiff United States shall give defendants 10 calendar days notice prior to divulging such material in any legal proceeding (other than a grand jury proceeding).
XI. No Reacquisition
Defendants may not reacquire or lease any part of the Divestiture Assets during the term of this Final Judgment provided however that defendants shall not be precluded from entering commercially reasonable agreements, for a period not to exceed two years from the date of the closing of the Transaction, with the Acquirer to obtain the right to use equipment that defendant ALLTEL used to support both its GSM roaming business and the provision of wireless services using other technological formats, and provided however that defendants may lease, for a period not to exceed 30 days, from the Management Trustee appointed by this Court pursuant to the Preservation of Assets Order, 2.5 MHz of spectrum in each RSA included in the Divestiture Assets.
XII. Retention of Jurisdiction
This Court retains jurisdiction to enable any party to this Final Judgment to apply to this Court at any time for further orders and directions as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out or construe this Final Judgment, to modify any of its provisions, to enforce compliance, and to punish violations of its provisions.
Unless this Court grants an extension, this Final Judgment shall expire 10 years from the date of its entry.
XIV. Public Interest Determination
Entry of this Final Judgment is in the public interest.