AT&T chief executive Ed Whitacre, affectionately referred to as “King Ed” by me, and “Mr. T” by others has always been of the school of thought that breaking up Ma Bell back in 1984 was a mistake. He has done his best to rectify that by gobbling up three out of seven Baby Bells – Ameritech, Pacific Bell, and more recently BellSouth – and merging them with his SBC. Of course along the way he picked up the remnants of a proud company called AT&T.
His splashiest move came last move when Mr. T bought BellSouth for $67 billion in cash, and about $22 billion in proportionate debt. Result, a giant phone company, the biggest in the world with over 71 million access lines, 54 million wireless customers, 9.5 million broadband lines and over $98 billion in sales.
I got together with Niall earlier this week and tried to do an analysis of the deal, its impact on Verizon and cable providers. Of course there are implications for start-ups, especially those in the telecom space. What it means for network neutrality, Yahoo and Google. Hopefully you can tune in.