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AT&T's Xmas acquisition is all about presence

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AT&T's decision to buy IBM Global Network will save the telecomms company time and money in its proposed international tie-up with BT. The $5 billion acquisition of IBM's global networking business automatically gives AT&T a presence in 93 out of the 100 cities where it and BT had planned to build new networks, according to a report by Reuters. The two telecomms giants had already agreed to set aside $5 billion to guarantee a presence in their 100 listed cities. AT&T’s deal with IBM means that the two have effectively done it -- all bar a handful -- in one fell swoop doing away with the need to make a series of costly and time-consuming acquisitions. "We're not going to have to do as many things as we had thought we'd have to do initially," said A&T CFO Dan Somers. "It may delay some capital spending, it may eliminate some. It will help us save money but I'm not ready to say how much." Last week, European antitrust regulators announced that they had expanded their enquiry into the proposed joint venture between AT&T and BT, fearing it could lead to excessive market control and domination. But AT&T said that the acquisition of IBM Global Network was unlikely to affect the investigation.®

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