Acoustic instabilities with frequencies roughly higher than 1 kHz remain among the most harmful instabilities, able to drastically affect the operation of engines and even leading to the destruction of the combustion chamber. By coupling with resonant transverse modes of the chamber, these pressure fluctuations can lead to a large increase of heat transfer fluctuations, as soon as fluctuations are in phase. To control engine stability, the mechanisms leading to the modulation of the local instantaneous rate of heat release must be understood. The commonly developed global approaches cannot identify the dominant mechanism(s) through which the acoustic oscillation modulates the local instantaneous rate of heat release. Local approaches are being developed based on processes that could be affected by acoustic perturbations. Liquid atomization is one of these processes. In the present paper, the effect of transverse acoustic perturbations on a coaxial air-assisted jet is studied experimentally. Here, five breakup regimes have been identified according to the flow conditions, in the absence of acoustics. The liquid jet is placed either at a pressure anti-node or at a velocity anti-node of an acoustic field. Acoustic levels up to 165 dB are produced. At a pressure anti-node, breakup of the liquid jet is affected by acoustics only if it is assisted by the coaxial gas flow. Effects on the liquid core are mainly due to the unsteady modulation of the annular gas flow induced by the acoustic waves when the mean dynamic pressure of the gas flow is lower than the acoustic pressure amplitude. At a velocity anti-node, local nonlinear radiation pressure effects lead to the flattening of the jet into a liquid sheet. A new criterion, based on an acoustic radiation Bond number, is proposed to predict jet flattening. Once the sheet is formed, it is rapidly atomized by three main phenomena: intrinsic sheet instabilities, Faraday instability and membrane breakup. Globally, this process promotes atomization. The spray is also spatially organized under these conditions: large liquid clusters and droplets with a low ejection velocity can be brought back to the velocity anti-node plane, under the action of the resulting radiation force. These results suggest that in rocket engines, because of the large number of injectors, a spatial redistribution of the spray could occur and lead to inhomogeneous combustion producing high-frequency combustion instabilities.