Verizon Communications moved to get smaller in 2015. A year after spending $130 billion to buy out wireless parter Vodafone, CEO Lowell McAdam sought to slim down and pay down some of the over $110 billion of long term debt he accumulated to pull off the buyout. That required selling off profitable but geographically remote landline telephone and FiOS cable television and Internet businesses in California, Texas and Florida to Frontier Communications for $10.5 billion. He raised another $5 billion selling off rights to more 11,000 cellular towers. Still, McAdam did need to make a few strategic additions. Verizon has frequently been rated as having the most comprehensive and widespread wireless network in the country but those airwaves have been filling up and getting ever more crowded. So McAdam spent big at the government’s Advanced Wireless Services spectrum auction, grabbing another 181 licenses. And in a play to move beyond subscription revenue and capture some of the growing digital advertising pie, McAdam snapped up AOL for $4 billion.
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