Ah, the wireless world ... What an incestuous web we sometimes weave. Follow us on this one:

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that Verizon Wireless must sell off a good chunk its assets in six areas of the northeast in order to go ahead with its $2.7 billion acquisition of Rural Cellular Corp.

Concessions aren't unusual when it comes to the business end of things, and consumer advocates went so far as to laud the FCC's handling of the AT&T-Bellsouth deal back in early 2007 that led to the rebranding of Cingular.

The DOJ press release doesn't mention the pending purchase of Alltel, just this:

According to the complaint, the proposed transaction would substantially reduce competition for mobile wireless telecommunications services in these areas, where, in each case, Verizon and RCC collectively serve more than 60 percent of subscribers.

Which makes sense. Until you recall an Engadget story in May noting that Rural Cellular is suing Alltel over customers it purchased previously in Minnesota.

So the question is: What does that mean for the current Alltel customers (or the Rural Cellular peeps) in the northeast? If anyone out there with a j.d. can shed some light on this one, do it in the comments.

Thanks to Erik for the tip!

Update: Changed the headline there, looks like the DoJ is more worried about the RCC deal, they're still mum on the Alltel thing. My bad -- Dieter