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AT&T May Face Bidding Rival in $1.6 Billion Straight Path Deal

AT&T Inc.’s $1.6 billion acquisition of Straight Path Communications Inc. could be disrupted by a rival bidder.

Straight Path and its adviser, Evercore, got a letter from another party that’s evaluating whether to top AT&T’s bid, according to a filing Thursday. The third party had been competing with AT&T for the acquisition before the deal was announced this week, Straight Path said. Verizon Communications Inc. is considering making an offer for Straight Path, Reuters reported Thursday, citing unidentified sources.

The overture may lead to an open bidding war over Straight Path, one of the largest holders of 28 gigahertz and 39 gigahertz millimeter-wave spectrum -- frequencies the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has already approved to power the fifth-generation of wireless services, or 5G. AT&T and Verizon have been amassing such spectrum to offer faster internet speeds for video and other services.

Straight Path gained as much as 3.6 percent to $95 in late trading. AT&T’s deal values the company at $95.63 a share, according to an April 10 statement.

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