Feeds

AT&T back together again

$67bn merger

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Unlike Humpty Dumpty, the United States' former telecomms monopoly looks set to reassemble itself, only 22 years after being broken up by a historic anti-trust action - and less than ten years since Congress permitted the RBOCs, or 'Baby Bells', to merge.

AT&T and BellSouth have announced their intention to join forces in a deal worth $67bn.

But then Humpty Dumpty didn't have at his disposal the miracle of debt financing, which has turned one of the US' smallest telecomms companies into the largest, in only five years.

In reality, AT&T is using stock to buy out the largest remaining legacy of the RBOCs. SBC, an amalgamation of Baby Bells that covers 13 states stretching from coast to coast, including Texas, California, Illinois and Ohio, bought AT&T for $16bn last year, and adopted the AT&T name.

In addition to controlling 23 states, the new AT&T will own 100 per cent of Cingular Wireless, the largest cellular carrier in the US. Cingular acquired AT&T Wireless two years ago, after it had been spun out from AT&T in 2001.

Ed Whitacre, the AT&T CEO, will become chairman and CEO of the merged company.

So in place of a monopoly, there's now a duopoly, with Verizon - which also coalesced out of an amalgamation of Baby Bells, and AT&T controlling the United States' telecomms infrastructure.

Both duopolists are expected to step up 'triple play' offerings of voice (fixed and mobile phone), TV and internet to the consumer market, squeezing out independent operators.

Names such as Skype and Google, and buzzwords such as VoIP and WiMAX provide the regulators with the fig leaf they need to nod through the merger. In reality any plucky little incumbent-challenger is dependent on the good will of the duopoly to continue the business of challenging the incumbents. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.