Wireless Tower Operators Face Off

Crown Castle will advance to the top spot with the acquisition of Global Signal. Now it's nearest rival American Tower's play

The ball is squarely in American Tower's court. In the acquisitions volley between the top two U.S. wireless tower operators, Crown Castle just hit an ace. On Oct. 6, the company said it's buying smaller operator Global Signal for $5.8 billion in cash, stock, and debt. If the deal goes through, the enlarged company will have more than 23,500 towers, leapfrogging American Tower and its 22,500 towers to become the largest tower operator in the U.S.

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