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SBC to Acquire AT&T for $16 Billion
January 31, 2005 5:15 AM   Subscribe

SBC to Acquire AT&T for $16 Billion or Death to the Deathstar    "Luke, I am your father![pdf] "    -Noooooo... oh wait, now I own you.
posted by gren (28 comments total)

 
The end of an era of a once great company...now make way for the SuperBell.
posted by gren at 5:26 AM on January 31, 2005


Is anyone else upset by this continual re-merging of baby-bells? Wasn't AT&T broken up for a reason?
posted by Plutor at 5:52 AM on January 31, 2005


Why does that upset you, Plutor?
posted by trharlan at 5:57 AM on January 31, 2005


There can be only one. /fake scottish accent
posted by shoepal at 6:21 AM on January 31, 2005


Monopolies BAAAD, m'kay?
posted by notsnot at 6:28 AM on January 31, 2005


Bet you a quarter they collapse under their own weight within 15 years.
posted by TeamBilly at 6:45 AM on January 31, 2005


Think we'll still have quarters in 15 years?
posted by gren at 6:52 AM on January 31, 2005


btw, was the .pdf warning good? I use the Target Alert Firefox extension so these links are obvious to me...just wanted to make sure no one opened Acrobat when they didn't want to.
posted by gren at 7:00 AM on January 31, 2005


What business was AT&T in nowadays?
posted by smackfu at 7:10 AM on January 31, 2005


A monopoly in what, notsnot? Outdated hardwired telecomm??? heheh
posted by mischief at 7:21 AM on January 31, 2005


gren, thanks for the link to TargetAlert!
posted by odinsdream at 8:06 AM on January 31, 2005


In their ad campaign last year, SBC seemed to suggest that its origins can be traced back to the early days of telephone and claimed credit for the development of telephone industry in the U.S. Pretending to be the Ma Bell that it wasn't, I felt.

But now I guess SBC can say it with a straight face.
posted by gazoo at 8:11 AM on January 31, 2005


I use the Target Alert Firefox extension so these links are obvious to me

That is excellent, thanks.
posted by rushmc at 8:13 AM on January 31, 2005


Great. I suppose this means they'll be changing the name of Pac Bell Park SBC Park Constantly Renamed Park yet again.
posted by fandango_matt at 8:40 AM on January 31, 2005


Is it or this SBC or this SBC?
posted by kurumi at 8:49 AM on January 31, 2005


Gazoo, well, its origins *can* be traced back to Ma Bell, and they were responsible for the development of the telephone industry in the areas they operated in since 1984. The commercial was their assault against the CLECs, which indeed piggyback on SBC's wiring and equipment. Now the CLECs are becoming more obsolete as VOIP gains steam.

(continued derail regarding PDFs: Hm. How about looking in the status bar to see if a PDF is being linked to? Status bar-less browsing is browsing with blinders on...)
posted by zsazsa at 8:54 AM on January 31, 2005


A monopoly in what, notsnot? Outdated hardwired telecomm??? heheh
posted by mischief at 7:21 AM PST on January 31

Laugh now funny boy. But you've not been paying attention.

1) Telcos are required by law to share the copper. The new fiber to home - no sharing needed.

The others are just a vague potentional 'threat'.
2) SBC sues over web patents - American Scientific and Surplus was one of the targets. You may be next over some other patent.
3) AT&T may have some UNIX(tm) rights left over. The BSD's have a 'legal immunity' - GNU/Linux only has an interpertation that copying an API is ok. If times get tight, and GNU/Linux is big enough - well, I would not put a lawsuit past SBC.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:55 AM on January 31, 2005


Why the hell was AT&T broken up in the first place? Apparently to breifly create the illusion of competition. Does the US still have antitrust laws? Aren't those laws there for a reason?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:46 AM on January 31, 2005


AT&T has been a virtual yard sale for years now. I remember going to a Cable Industry trade show a couple of years back and there were about 5 different "AT&T" companies, their cable business, wireless etc. All of which have slowly been sold off. This has been coming for ages.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:51 AM on January 31, 2005


3) AT&T may have some UNIX(tm) rights left over. The BSD's have a 'legal immunity' - GNU/Linux only has an interpertation that copying an API is ok. If times get tight, and GNU/Linux is big enough - well, I would not put a lawsuit past SBC.


SBC is the new SCO?
posted by delmoi at 10:22 AM on January 31, 2005


AT&T seems to be pulling of out everything... local, long distance... is anything even left of the company?
posted by AloneOssifer at 11:21 AM on January 31, 2005


Why the hell was AT&T broken up in the first place? Apparently to breifly create the illusion of competition.

LOL
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:06 PM on January 31, 2005


AT&T recently spun off its wireless division, which was almost immediately acquired by the annoyingly misspelled Cingular, a division of SBC. Think of it as a reunion.
posted by wendell at 12:10 PM on January 31, 2005


They can share all the copper they want, since I haven't relied on a hardwired phone in years. Further, a glance at the AT&T page shows they are in other sectors that are far from being monopolized.

So there! ;-P
posted by mischief at 1:25 PM on January 31, 2005


Now the CLECs are becoming more obsolete as VOIP gains steam.

And just who do you think is deploying that VoIP technology? CLECs, ILECs and everyone else are offering VoIP services (Hosted PBX, IP Centrex) in addition to regular copper-carrier services. They have to, to survive. Gone are the days of buying a tandem switch and selling LD, prepaid and hosted operator services for millions in revenue. It just ain't there anymore.

I find it interesting because I believe the entire telcom industry is charging down this VoIP path whether the markets are ready for it or not, rapidly expanding in 30 directions at once. There's gonna be another bubble bursting like there was for dot coms. At least, that's what I think.


1) Telcos are required by law to share the copper. The new fiber to home - no sharing needed.


They're mostly preventing sharing to offset the cost of the fiber. Verizon has a massive project going in TX right now to bring fiber direct to the home. However, there are some cities fighting the exclusivity of this. And if the FCC sides with those fighting it, well....

Smart RBOCs who are running fiber projects like this will offer leasing services back to CLECs anyway. It'll be just like 1988 again, only with glass instead of copper.

Back on topic....

SBC, on paper, is one company, but in practice it's still a bunch of different companies. Pac Bell and Ameritech are under the SBC banner but they operate differently (and compete, to my amusement, in some markets.) I doubt very seriously any communications company can be run with that type of command and control structure at their size for very long. They'll dump off the dead-weight business units or they'll drown.
posted by TeamBilly at 2:39 PM on January 31, 2005


It still seems pretty lame to let this go through...while there may not be a single national monopoly for telco service, now we are stuck with several regional monopolies for telco service :*(
posted by gren at 3:24 PM on January 31, 2005


This makes Sockbabyjesus cry :**(
posted by gren at 3:25 PM on January 31, 2005


They're mostly preventing sharing to offset the cost of the fiber.

The whine from SBC was "this is neeed to sell data services" - yet SBC won't sell me DSL because another comapny provides my local service and leases the copper from SBC.

Errr, if you wanted data customers, sell me data SBC.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:24 PM on January 31, 2005


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