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Summary:

Why AT&T is a great deal for SBC? AT&T and SBC Communications are close to shaking their mitts on a $16-billion merger, which will see former Ma Bell become part of the SBC empire. Both Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are reporting that […]

AT&T and SBC Communications are close to shaking their mitts on a $16-billion merger, which will see former Ma Bell become part of the SBC empire. Both Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are reporting that both boards met this afternoon to begin deliberations on the deal, which might be announced within hours. There is still no word on what will happen to the old AT&T brand name. I think SBC will become AT&T in Stetsen. I am surprised by the lack of action from other Bells. Is there a special agreement for BellSouth.

I hear a lot of negativity about the deal, but most are overlooking the fact that with this deal, SBC will pretty much own the enterprise market. Add to this Cingular operations, and boy can they cross sell into the corporate market place. I think they should keep AT&T brand name. I am a feeling a little glum – I hope AT&T doesn’t become a distant fading memory in our names. Everytime I think of calling home, I think of AT&T. To me as a customer – not a journalist following technology – Ma Bell means a connection to my mom.

Robert Atkinson, a former U.S. Federal Communications Commission official who now heads the Institute for Tele-Information at Columbia University in New York thinks that splitting AT&T after the 1984 anit-trust decision into long distance and local businesses was the beginning of the end for the company, which in many way has been trying to catch a falling knife.

“The era of the huge company trying to be all things to all people all the time is over,” said Mr. Atkinson. The Bells, which continue to add assets and services, now face this challenge as they confront new competitors, including cable companies and Internet-based phone companies. “If they’re not adept at adapting, they will follow the same path as AT&T,” said Mr. Atkinson.

  1. Om,

    You’ve nailed. This deal is a sleeper and a huge win for SBC. To naysayers, I say just wait and watch.

    As for Mr Atkinson, just say NO to two-bit worthless analysis. 1984 was not the end of ATT.

    The end of ATT was when they spunout ATT Wireless.

    Now I admit my memory suffers from enthropy, but I do believe the ATT boys were greedy little bastards and took that investment from Docomo against the interest of shareholders.

    So ATT sold wireless way too early and bought MSO/coax near the top.

    What killed ATT was not a decision by a judge two decades ago, what killed ATT was braindamaged management (aka Mike Armstrong!!!) without a realistic vision, aided and abetted by a bevy of investment bankers.

    So what happened to ATT is what should happen to them. Previous mgt ruined this company, and I think the current CEO is getting the best deal he could.

    PSSSSS. I think Yahoo could benefit also because they have a great relationship with SBC. Why can’t they leverage that into deeper corporate relationships?

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  2. Dicky Fallin Tuesday, May 31, 2005

    The end of AT&T is in their lying to customers about fees and rates. They pulled a bate and switch on me, promised one rate and then raised it the same month, billed for services I didn’t even receive (50 dollars for those). I will definately be using newer, alternative ways of talking to “friends and family”

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  3. AT&T is lying to customers . When we called and complained they gave us a more expensive plan.but they don’t tell you its a new contract and costs more.I wanted a cheaper phone so I downgraded without call waiting and forwarding etc. It cost me more. On my internet I CALLED BECAUSE IT WAS TO SLOW. THEY UPGRADED TO ELITE. DIDN’T SAY IT COST MORE AND WOULD BE A NEW CONTRACT.I CALLED TO DISCONTINUE SERVICE AND WAS TOLD IT WILL BE $99.00 EARLY DISCONECT.I HAVE HAD SBC SINCE 2005.
    AT&T stinks.

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