MCI, Ma Bell Cat Fight Continues

It should come as no surprise to anyone that MCI and AT&T loathe each other. Infact, had it not been for MCI, we would be living in a world where AT&T would still be around, and we all be using ISDN. Maybe. Of course, the phone calls to India still would have cost $1.00 a minute. But it was the battle between MCI and AT&T, further exacerbated by executives like Joe Nacchio (who figured give people $100 for resigning with AT&T from MCI was cheaper than luring them over using marketing tactics.) Not that AT&T helped itself much – it gave political dollars to all the wrong people. Anyway even though the two companies are as done as an over-charred steak, they still continue to take swipes at each other. Take for example today – MCI bought a San Francisco-based company called Totality, which is a bit of an application hosting expert.

MCI, which is in a bit of pickle itself these days, is looking to get some enterprise hosting pizzaz. Of course these are the same folks who bought Digex. Anyway Totality’s biggest partner-in-arms is none other than AT&T, which accounts for, according to my sources, a large percentage of Totality’s business. Now Ma Bell is no guru when it comes to managed application hosting, and perhaps that’s why picking Totality as a partner made sense. If MCI buys Totality, AT&T has to go out and find a new partner. Otherwise it is paying to its bitter rival. That doesn’t make sense. MCI on the other hand, will be looking at flight of customers, when the dust settles. I wonder who comes out on the losing side. And as I said, meow!


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