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[November 06, 2008]
AT&T buying Wayport, adding free hotel hotspots
(AP Online Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW YORK_AT&T Inc. said Thursday it will buy Wayport Inc., a privately held company that operates more than 10,000 Wi-Fi hot spots in McDonald's restaurants and hotels, for $275 million in cash.
AT&T Internet customers and iPhone owners already have free access to Wayport's McDonald's locations, but the deal will add free access at 2,800 locations, including Wyndham, Marriott Vacation Club and Four Seasons hotels.
AT&T has its own Wi-Fi hotspots as well. The deal will take its total to 20,000 in the U.S. and 80,000 globally, counting providers with which it has roaming agreements.
Dallas-based AT&T also said the acquisition will boost its ability to help businesses set up and manage Wi-Fi networks.
The companies expect the deal to close before the end of the year.
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