Print 105 comment(s) - last by SacredFist.. on Jan 26 at 9:05 AM

The biggest telecommunications merger in U.S. history just received federal approval

The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved AT&T Inc.’s $86 billion acquisition of BellSouth Corporation, making it the largest telecoms merger in U.S. history.

The completion of the BellSouth acquisition comes after an extensive review process which included approval by or filings with 36 states, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FCC, as well as with three foreign countries. In order to receive bipartisan FCC approval, AT&T volunteered to make broadband access increasingly affordable and available to consumers and to support public safety.

Through a combination of technologies, AT&T is committed to making broadband services available to 100 percent of residential living units in it's 22-state local-phone-service territory by the end of 2007. Additionally, AT&T will offer a stand-alone broadband service for $19.95 as well as other offers to encourage broadband adoption by those who do not currently subscribe.

The transaction also consolidates ownership and management of Cingular Wireless and AT&T will immediately integrate and converge AT&T, BellSouth and Cingular wireless and wire line Internet Protocol networks, combine product portfolios and integrate customer care capabilities. The new company also plans to expand the reach of broadband access in remote and rural locations in the traditional BellSouth region.

"AT&T, BellSouth and Cingular have led in developing and deploying many of the communications services that customers depend on today, including broadband DSL and wireless technologies," said AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. "Moving forward, AT&T will work to integrate these services for customers in the Southeast, across the country and around the world."

AT&T will launch new advertising which will begin the transition of the BellSouth brand name to AT&T in the coming days. AT&T will re-brand Cingular through a co-branded transition which is scheduled to start in 2007. Details regarding the Cingular branding will be announced at a later date. will not undergo a name or Web site address change.

AT&T's corporate headquarters will remain in San Antonio. The new AT&T Southeast (formerly BellSouth Corporation) and Cingular will continue to be based in Atlanta.

Stockholders of the former BellSouth received 1.325 shares of AT&T common stock for each common share of BellSouth. Based on AT&T's closing stock price on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006 this exchange ratio equaled $47.04 per BellSouth common share. Since the merger was announced, the market price of AT&T shares has risen 26.83 percent and BellSouth shares have increased 48.76 percent. BellSouth's common stock and debt securities will be immediately delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in connection with the completion of the acquisition

AT&T plans to repatriate 3,000 jobs currently outsourced by BellSouth outside the United States as well as to make its disaster-recovery capabilities available to facilitate the restoration of services in the former BellSouth region in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster.

"These commitments reflect our long history of providing consumers and businesses with the most advanced and affordable communications services," said Whitacre. "We can't wait to show people what the new AT&T can do."

The Communications Workers of America believe the merger of AT&T and BellSouth will promote increased investment and build-out of high-speed networks that are critical to the region's economic growth and the nation's position in the global economy. CWA President Larry Cohen said the merger agreement included real commitments by AT&T-BellSouth for an expanded build-out of both higher speed Internet services and DSL, an important step forward in bringing the full promise of the Internet to areas that have been passed by.

"Workers at BellSouth know that the future of communications and their own future is in the build-out of high-speed telecommunications services. This merger will help provide the resources to make this possible, and at the same time, should help create quality jobs," said Noah Savant, CWA's vice president for the Southeast and BellSouth territory. "Of course we remain concerned about the net effect on jobs within the region for frontline employees and the services we provide. We are pleased to see AT&T commitment to bringing thousands of support jobs back to the United States," Savant added.

The U.S. has fallen to 16th in the world in terms of availability and access to high-speed Internet services. The availability and benefits of the Internet should be universal, but residents in rural communities, low-income urban areas and other communities don't have high-speed access and are at a growing disadvantage.

High-tech innovation and job growth, advances in telemedicine, distance learning, improving public safety and e-government all are possible and in fact routine in much of the world. In the United States, however, current speed standards are not sufficient to support these kinds of services, Larry Cohen said. "The build-out of true high-speed networks requires a huge investment of tens of billions of dollars and the AT&T-BellSouth merger will begin to provide the resources to do this," he added. Cohen also stressed that CWA strongly supports an open Internet "where consumers can go where they want, when they want. Nothing should be done to degrade or block access to websites," he said.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Thank God for this merger
By Exodus28 on 1/2/2007 9:54:00 PM , Rating: 3
Pure Socialism may not work, the jury is still out on that. But all your examples are of countries that are/were closer to dictatorships and totalitarianism (Hitler, Stalin, Castro et al).
And China? I believe they are killing their DOGS now... (just an example of more state run BS)

How that relates to socialism I have no idea. In China dogs are seen as a food resource. They don't have the 'pets' hang up like other countries do.
Hell, here in Oz some people eat kangaroo without a second thought. Roo's are on our coat of arms and an international symbol for Oz. Should we blame socialism for that too?

RE: Thank God for this merger
By ScythedBlade on 1/2/2007 10:45:50 PM , Rating: 1
According to my AP classes, Socialism CAN work, but your supposed to go from capitalism before socialism. China seems to be doing this in reverse from socialism to capitalism ... and probably back to socialism.

RE: Thank God for this merger
By AxemanFU on 1/3/2007 10:19:16 AM , Rating: 1
It sounds like they are teaching you straight from Marx. It's probably not a bad idea from the perspective of the teacher, after all the teacher's unions have largely bought into the marxist socio-economic construct, though suprisingly many individual union members don't support such ideas when you ask them individually.

Marx also acknowledges that socialism and communism are ultimately unsustainable due to lack of incentive, unless that incentive is to stay alive at the behest of a totalitarian or authoritarian controlling power, IE a big government telling you how to live day to day to keep you working "for the common good".

It's not for me, that's for sure. Don't just buy the lines your teacher gives you in highschool. After all, they are mostly college of education grads with very simplistic college degrees not much more advanced than a good highschool education with respect to the fundamentals. (I have a TON of teachers in my family, they'll tell you the same thing.) Ask questions, and debate, and do your own research into politcs, economics, and social systems. It makes it better for the entire class. Just don't be irreverent while doing it.

By ScythedBlade on 1/4/2007 5:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
I think Japan and Britan are already on a socialist type of governthough, neh?

RE: Thank God for this merger
By bldckstark on 1/8/2007 12:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
You need to talk to those relatives a little more. The indecent drivel they spread as learning in the schools is regulated by the state. They are teaching what is legislated for them to teach. My wife teaches. I actually talk to her about it from time to time so I know that the subjects that she teaches, AND WHAT SHE TEACHES IN THAT SUBJECT, are specifically called out to be taught by law. She can't teach trigonometry when she is teaching algebra, she can't even teach differential algebraic equations when she is teaching advanced algebra because the content of the course is defined for her by the state. Then, the students must pass ignorantly devised tests designed to show "adequate yearly progress" so that they can continue to get federal funding and keep their jobs. This group of kids tested includes the persons with special needs, i.e. learning disabilities, emotionally/mentally handicapped; which drags down the overall average. If a class happens to have too many persons with disadvantages, the school corporation can be taken over by the government and the teachers fired, through no fault of their own. Not only that but if a school corporation happens to have all 100% of their kids pass for a few years, they no longer meet the definition of adequate yearly progress, and they can be taken over and fired for that too. This is what we call the NCLBA. No Child Left Behind Act. Think about it.

There is a lot of bad stuff going on in our school system and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

RE: Thank God for this merger
By iNGEN on 1/4/2007 12:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
You might want to review the premise of "The Great Leap Forward" and Stalin's predictions for it's failure as he attempted to influence Mao. Stalin's predictions have been remarkably accurate.

Consequentially, in an indirect way, the PRC will likely sooner provide to their citizens the kind of competition driven communication services this merger should help bring about in the US. The PRC will do this not because socialism succeeded there, but because it is and has failed.

RE: Thank God for this merger
By SacredFist on 1/26/2007 9:05:34 AM , Rating: 2
Dude ... he's right. Wiki it

RE: Thank God for this merger
By Myrandex on 1/3/2007 3:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
wtg information. I don't know where you get that from. Plenty of chinese have dogs as pets and are upset about the legislation and are going to different lengths to hide their multiple pets (or large dogs). Pets exist all over the world, not just like the U.S. or Europe. Also just anout any government system can work if people act as they are supposed to in the system. The designers don't think about the negative aspects (such as people not working to their potential in a communist country). Of course socialism could work, but it would involve people working as hard as they can for the benefit of all...

I for one don't want to be taxed a lot just so the local worthly drug head falls from his balcony while high and breaks him arm goes to the doctor and receives free medical treatment. I support helping out some of the lower income families as long as they are working for it. I don't want to support some drunk that beats their many children which they have just for state income checks. I do want to support the family that works their asses off just so they can put food on the table and send their children to school.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Snapchat’s New Sunglasses are a Spectacle – No Pun Intended
September 24, 2016, 9:02 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki