Sunday, March 05, 2006

AT&T is Dead. Long Live AT&T

The Wall Street Journal is reporting in its online edition that SBC, which recently swallowed AT&T and renamed itself after the once mighty telecoms giant, is about to buy BellSouth. If it goes through, the deal would make the new AT&T an unquestioned leader in all kinds of telecoms services in the U.S. It will have full control over the top cellphone company Cingular and will dominate long distance and Internet services arenas. Oh, and by the way, it will have a market capitalization of $160 billion.

But don't expect a lot of anti-competion action, with the company being able to point to big wireless competitors -- Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile -- as well as cable TV providers and Internet phone companies that are taking chunks of the telecoms market. So AT&T, at least in name, will again be the telecoms giant.

Wonder if this will put further pressure on Verizon to squeeze out its partner Vodafone from their joint venture Verizon Wireless. There's already been plenty of talk about the British operator pulling out, so maybe this will be the final push. Or here's a crazy idea. Maybe Vodafone, hurting from disappointing growth, would be interested in buying Verizon? They can't abandon the world's largest market, can they?

Another possible deal: Verizon buying Qwest.

No comments: