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FCC okays AT&T spectrum transfer to T-Mobile USA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider, has received regulatory approval for its plan to give T-Mobile USA a big chunk of spectrum as part of its break-up offering in compensation for the failure of their efforts to merge.

AT&T was left with an obligation to give wireless air waves and $3 billion cash to Deutsche Telekom AG unit T-Mobile USA after AT&T's $39 billion plan to buy its smaller rival failed late last year due to strong regulatory opposition.

The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it approved of AT&T's transfer of spectrum to T-Mobile USA, the No. 4 U.S. mobile service provider.

T-Mobile USA plans to use the spectrum to help it upgrade its network for higher-speed data services. T-Mobile USA has committed to spend $4 billion on improving its network and deploying new technology in 2013.

(Reporting By Sinead Carew; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)