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Re: AT&T/GTE vs. AT&T/baby Bell
Mike Ward wrote:
>Aren't the antitrust concerns the same (vertical foreclosure,
>potential competition) for AT&T merging with GTE or a baby Bell? Why
>block a AT&T/baby Bell merger and not a AT&T/GTE merger?
I think the matter is more one of history rather than practicalites. The
mooted SBC Communications/AT&T merger of June this year would have
re-established the old Bell system in California, Nevada, Texas, Missouri,
etc. Possibly the idea the pre-Divestment situation being restored in two
of the biggest telecommunications markets in the US was too much for the
FCC to bear. A merger with GTE -- which was never part of the Bell System
-- does not raise the same historical implications.
Also, SBC had also just completed its controversial merger with Pacific
Telesis and this may have been seen as a step too far.
Another implication that may have influenced Reed Hundt was the not
uncommon perception of SBC as anti-competitive and of its main business
area -- Texas -- as one of the most protected markets in the US.
I think we must remember that in antitrust perceptions often seem more
important than fact.
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