Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The New AT&T: A Massive Merger

You've probably heard the news by now, and seen the advertising, but AT&T is in the process of completing a huge merger of three strong brands: AT&T, Bellsouth and Cingular Wireless.

In 2005, Cingular Wireless began being sold under the AT&T name after SBC, 60% owner of Cingular Wireless, was merged with AT&T, leaving Bellsouth with the other 40%.

And now that the FCC has approved AT&T's merger, AT&T is acquiring Bellsouth to merge all three brands into one.

There has been much speculation and analysis since the announcement was made that AT&T and Bellsouth were in talks, but to me, it all comes down to integration - unifying all methods of communication under one brand, and perhaps one type or set of technologies.

Some possible drawbacks of the merger may be the ousting of the Cingular name, and the colossal size of the company. Sometimes growth can cause a shakeup with the existing customers and how customer service is handled. We'll see how smooth the transition is.

So, I can't wait to see what things are like for AT&T one year from now. But now that Bellsouth and Cingular are joining the new AT&T, I can bet there will be lots of talk on Wall Street, and a head-to-head competition with Time Warner down the road.

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