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News Editor

AT&T swallows up BellSouth

Mar 06, 20062 mins
AT&TData Center

The business world is awakening this morning to news that Ed Whitacre went shopping again yesterday – and it wasn’t at Wal-Mart.

AT&T’s announcement that it intends to acquire BellSouth for $67 billion would create a carrier that generates $120 billion in revenue and serves 71 million local phone customers in 22 states. It would pretty much render to history the term Baby Bell.

This possibility has been discussed openly for some time, of course, including in this analysis written by my Network World colleague Jim Duffy. That doesn’t mean it isn’t shocking.

From that December article: “As attractive as this would be to a lot of people, it just seems to me like right now this is going to have some formidable barriers to it,” said Thomas Nolle, president of consultancy CIMI. “It’s hard for me to believe that this is something that could happen quickly.”

Three months later it’s no easier to believe.

However, in this country today you’ve got a president, Senate, House, FCC, FTC, Supreme Court and bulk of the mainstream media all in general agreement that whatever big business wants big business should get.

Does that mean the deal is wired from the start? Well, I spent a few hours in a Connecticut casino yesterday. The games there are a sure thing compared to betting against that proposition.

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at