AT&T (SBC) cleared to buy BellSouth

bousozoku

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This is ugly. AT&T, formerly SBC, has been cleared to buy BellSouth, it's partner in Cingular.

I could swear they broke up AT&T so things like this wouldn't happen. Suddenly, there is a whole lot less competition out there. Of course, the way land lines are going away, they may stop wiring homes any year now.
 

MacNut

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Jan 4, 2002
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They will still wire homes but for Highspeed access not for phone service anymore. I don't see how they are allowed to keep buying up the bells since I thought they wanted the competition.
 

bousozoku

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SBC has acquired several of the baby Bells, right? From my plans to move, I've seen them in the Los Angeles area (PacBell?) and Dayton, Ohio (Ameritech), as well as buying the old parent company's phone business and now, BellSouth. Of course, the way BellSouth is run, the combined company might go away once they absorb it. :D

I don't see how the DoJ sees that this is still competitive. This leaves Qwest (was that Northwestern Bell?) and Sprint + Sprint local, which is now Embarq, and Verizon, which took over Nynex years ago. MCI was starting to offer local service years ago before Worldcom got involved but seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth since things went bad.

There is competition of sorts from Cable companies but it's surprising to see, what looks like a monopoly, forming.
 

OnceUGoMac

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Mar 3, 2004
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The original AT&T hasn't existed for years now. They broke up into three separate companies and all three were bought by other outfits. SBC bought AT&T, but changed the merged outfit into AT&T because of name recognition. AT&T's buyout of Bell South was expected because they co-own Cingular. I wonder if Cingular will now be called AT&T?
 

FoxyKaye

macrumors 68000
bousozoku said:
...I could swear they broke up AT&T so things like this wouldn't happen. Suddenly, there is a whole lot less competition out there. Of course, the way land lines are going away, they may stop wiring homes any year now.
It's Ma Bell all over again, though I don't know how many folks on MR actually remember Ma Bell...
 

SeaFox

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Jul 22, 2003
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OnceUGoMac said:
AT&T's buyout of Bell South was expected because they co-own Cingular. I wonder if Cingular will now be called AT&T?
Actually that was exactly what they planned to do. But from the update maybe they have backtracked a bit. I swear, this is just one big gravy train for advertsing firms and consultants, after all the hopla of changing everyone on the former AT&T wireless to Cingular branding, they are going go back and make everyone AT&T Wireless now.
 

SeaFox

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ReanimationLP said:
The Baby Bell bought out Ma Bell. Classic irony.
The local phone network is what made Ma Bell Ma Bell really. So the company SBC bought out really wasn't it's mother at all. It was more like Baby Bell bought out Ma Bell's estate at auction, and now wears her dresses.
 

ReanimationLP

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Jan 8, 2005
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SeaFox said:
The local phone network is what made Ma Bell Ma Bell really. So the company SBC bought out really wasn't it's mother at all. It was more like Baby Bell bought out Ma Bell's estate at auction, and now wears her dresses.
Dude. I so hate you now.

All I can see in my head is a telephone wearing a dress. :D
 

bousozoku

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ReanimationLP said:
Dude. I so hate you now.

All I can see in my head is a telephone wearing a dress. :D
Stylish, eh? I believe that we have to worry about you, just a bit. :D
 

n-abounds

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Mar 6, 2006
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What was the point in ever breaking up Ma Bell, then?

We need a real republican that will break up monopolies...
 

atszyman

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n-abounds said:
What was the point in ever breaking up Ma Bell, then?
At the time there was no other options for phone service. Now with VOIP and cell phones choice still exists even if the traditional land lines are somewhat monopolized. The hardest hit would be those with DSL service but new wireless high speed internet providers are popping up all over and the cable companies offer high speed internet as well. The dynamics of the situation are different then they were when Ma Bell was broken up. There is still competition. In reality the traditional land line phone company is starting to die as more people switch to VOIP and Cellular only services. It only makes sense that the smaller players would consolidate as the options start to take off.
 

balamw

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Aug 16, 2005
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atszyman said:
In reality the traditional land line phone company is starting to die as more people switch to VOIP and Cellular only services.
You neglect to mention that the two major wireless carriers (Verizon and Cingular) are wholly owned (assuming the Bellsouth thing is resolved) by the very same two wired telephone companies. That said, it's more likely you can get Verizon wireless service in an AT&T phone area and vice versa.

The only real competition for is cable vs. telco and has to do with broadband access. Whoever gets the most fiber out there wins. VOIP's independence relies on the broadband network being available outside of the hands of the telcos.

[I wrote something about the rest of n-abounds post, but thought the better of it. :p]

B
 

atszyman

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balamw said:
You neglect to mention that the two major wireless carriers (Verizon and Cingular) are wholly owned (assuming the Bellsouth thing is resolved) by the very same two wired telephone companies. That said, it's more likely you can get Verizon wireless service in an AT&T phone area and vice versa.

The only real competition for is cable vs. telco and has to do with broadband access. Whoever gets the most fiber out there wins. VOIP's independence relies on the broadband network being available outside of the hands of the telcos.

[I wrote something about the rest of n-abounds post, but thought the better of it. :p]

B
There's also Sprint and T-Mobile, along with numerous smaller localized cell providers. It's not as if a lot will change. Most places I've lived so far have had very little choice as to who you use to provide land line phone service. It all depended on who owned the cable in the areas. Almost all of my past apartments had one provider and my house had SBC or some smaller local company I used for a few years. The smaller local company still exists, SBC just got bigger, my choices are still the same.

Yes the 2 biggest cell providers are owned by the 2 biggest landline providers but there is still competition with other cell carriers. VOIP is really starting to take off as well and even cable companies are offering digital phone service (I used to get letters from Comcast all the time). The situation is not the same as when Ma Bell was broken up.
 

shambolic

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Oct 27, 2003
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balamw said:
You neglect to mention that the two major wireless carriers (Verizon and Cingular) are wholly owned (assuming the Bellsouth thing is resolved) by the very same two wired telephone companies.
VZW is actually only 55% owned by Verizon (the other 45% is owned by Vodafone) - though I know that's a situation that they're looking to change...
 

balamw

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Aug 16, 2005
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atszyman said:
The situation is not the same as when Ma Bell was broken up.
I didn't mean to imply it was the same, just that the biggest winners of the additional options are the very same wired telephony companies. (FWIW they also own much of the back end data networks that internet traffic uses, so they win even if VOIP over cable takes off.)

Many of the smaller cellular companies are just virtual providers that use one of the major's networks (e.g. T-Moblie still essentially buys a fair amount of their coverage from Cingular).

VZW is actually only 55% owned by Verizon (the other 45% is owned by Vodafone) - though I know that's a situation that they're looking to change...
You are correct, though I thought VOD's share was less.

B
 

SeaFox

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Jul 22, 2003
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n-abounds said:
What was the point in ever breaking up Ma Bell, then?

We need a real republican that will break up monopolies...
I really don't think it matters at this point. Cell phones already outnumber hardline phones in the number of new connections started each year. The Bell network is on it's way out. In 10 years, everyone will be using cell phones instead.
 

mattniles007

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2005
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Michigan
bousozoku said:
This is ugly. AT&T, formerly SBC, has been cleared to buy BellSouth, it's partner in Cingular.

I could swear they broke up AT&T so things like this wouldn't happen. Suddenly, there is a whole lot less competition out there. Of course, the way land lines are going away, they may stop wiring homes any year now.
They did until Reagen stopped enforcing the laws I believe.
 

mattniles007

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Dec 4, 2005
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Michigan
SeaFox said:
I really don't think it matters at this point. Cell phones already outnumber hardline phones in the number of new connections started each year. The Bell network is on it's way out. In 10 years, everyone will be using cell phones instead.
Real Republicans are long gone, they've been replaced with this Theocratic pro-buisness machine.
 
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