Is the Rivalry Intensifying Among Major Tower Companies? A Look at Recent Events Suggests It Might Be.

In a telling shift, AT&T recently relocated a cell site from an American Tower Corp. (ATC) site to a Crown Castle tower, seemingly to escape higher rents. This move might signify a brewing competitive tension between two of the big players in the tower industry. Historically, the public cell tower companies have stayed away from pilfering tenants from each other.
Adding intrigue, one of our clients with land under a Crown Castle tower just received an unexpected proposition from American Tower. ATC offered to “partner” in marketing additional land on the site for cell towers, promising to split any new revenue 50/50. 
Here’s the catch: if DISH were to use the existing Crown Castle tower, no additional rent would be due unless DISH required more ground space. In that case, our client would pocket 100% of that revenue without ATC —a far better deal. And if DISH wanted to build a new tower, why would the landowner want American Tower to be in the middle? It raises the question: Is American Tower’s overture a strategic move because of Crown Castle’s presence on the property?
Our stance is clear: such proposals, which seemingly don’t favor landowners, should be approached with caution or outright rejected. We advise our clients to think twice about these deals, which appear less beneficial than they may seem. If you receive a similar proposal from American Tower, please reach out to us to discuss it. 
(PS: the image for this post was created by AI.  It’s so bad that I had to include it. It is not intended to suggest anything negative about either Crown Castle or American Tower.)

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