SBC Officially Agrees To Swallow Ma Bell

from the gulp dept

Anyone taking bets on what bit of telecom consolidation is coming next? As was rumored last week, SBC and AT&T have officially agreed to merge in a deal valued around $16 billion. It still needs to pass regulatory (and shareholder) muster, but it seems that neither of those hurdles should be very high. There are still some rumors about others (Verizon? BellSouth?) making counter-bids, but both seem unlikely to win out even if they do make a bid. As silly as it may sound, with SBC doing the acquiring, it would be interesting to see if they decide to take on the AT&T name — which probably still has more brand value than SBC. Other, smaller points: this probably isn’t good news for AT&T’s CallVantage offering, even though SBC is planning VoIP of their own. AT&T looked at CallVantage as a way to stick it to the Baby Bells. SBC, obviously, is a Baby Bell — so they’re going to view it differently. Also, it looks like Sprint just lost a big MVNO customer, as it seems unlikely that AT&T will push forward with the new AT&T Wireless built on Sprint’s network while SBC controls Cingular. Still, while many will view this deal as the end of an era, that era ended long ago. SBC is just stomping out the ashes.


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