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Communications companies seek deal

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma City-headquartered Dobson Communications Corp. is negotiating to sell properties in five states to Verizon Wireless of Bedminister, N.J., the nation's largest provider of wireless services.

The proposal is for Verizon to acquire certain Dobson wireless properties in Arizona, California, Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee.

The deal would be for about $550 million, including $202 million for the Tennessee Rural Service Area No. 4, the two companies said in a joint statement.

Dobson plans to use the net proceeds from the sales to reduce debt.

The boards of both companies have conditionally approved the deals and spokesmen said details of the proposed transactions are being worked out.

Verizon Wireless has more than 28 million customers from coast to coast. It was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications.

Dobson Communications is a leading provider of wireless phone services to rural markets in the country. It owns or manages wireless operations in 19 states.
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