Almost as confusing as AT&T itself
You know, Cingular, AT&T Wireless, AT&T Mobility, AT&T Broadband, Bellsouth, SBC etc. Who could forget?
On June 5, 2008, Verizon Wireless announced it would acquire the majority of Alltel Wireless in a deal valued at $28.1 billion. The merger was approved by the Federal Communications Commission on the condition that Verizon divest 105 Alltel markets. On May 8, 2009, AT&T announced it would acquire 79 of the divested wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, and 1.5 million current subscribers, primarily in rural areas across 18 states.
On April 26, 2010, Atlantic Tele-Network acquired the remaining 26 divested Alltel markets, including licenses, network assets and 800,000 subscribers. These remaining markets continue to be operated by Allied Wireless, a subsidiary of ATN, under the Alltel name.
On January 22, 2013, AT&T announced they were acquiring Alltel from Atlantic Tele-Network for $780 million in cash
So basically they are buying the parts of Alltel that Verizon was forced not to buy... not the old Alltel which was a reasonably sized regional carrier.
Or, to put it another way, Verizon bought approx 97% of Alltel and now AT&T is buying the remaining approx 3%.--