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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.
  Chris Rowsell
  Espicom Business Intelligence
  Tel: +44 1243 533322
  Fax: +44 1243 532124
  Telecommunications Business Consultants & Research