First it was long distance, then local, then wireless and now it is the business/corporate customers. The telephone industry is increasindly being roiled by intense competition for a finite number of customers. Qwest is the latest to complain about this in its second quarter earnings report.
Competition for business customers from AT&T Corp. and MCI Inc. hurt results and may prevent Qwest from meeting its goal of increasing revenue this year, Chief Financial Officer Oren Shaffer said. Qwest’s efforts to halt two years of sales declines by offering high-speed Internet and residential long-distance service aren’t compensating for lower corporate pricing. The net loss grew to $776 million, or 43 cents a share, from $64 million, or 4 cents, a year earlier, Denver-based Qwest, the fourth-biggest U.S. local-phone company, said in a statement.
“The enterprise space continues to be brutal not only for Qwest, but for its peers,” Avi Benus, an analyst at J.P.Morgan Chase told Bloomberg. No surprise here – the fresh out of bankruptcy carriers are playing the price game again and it is leading to more pressure on the corporate side of the business.