Whether you consider it a consolation prize or not, the AT&T deal with Qualcomm has now closed allowing the former to add some more capacity in the 700MHz spectrum. The area covered by the newly purchased spectrum covers 300 million people nationally and 70 million people in 5 of the top 15 markets in the States. Some of the major cities covered are Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.
The FCC announced its decision with a short statement on its website. For the nation's second largest carrier, it must feel good to actually close a deal in the win column after spending all that time, money and effort in vain, trying to pick up T-Mobile. Although the FCC's decision mentions that allowing the purchase of the spectrum to go through could cause public harm, the commission said that having AT&T own spectrum will not cause harm to the holdings of other carriers. The FCC also felt that the 700MHz spectrum is currently "underutilized".
If you're interested in reading the decision, check out the sourcelink.
source: FCC via LATimes