AT&T, BellSouth to merge

AT&T and BellSouth last week agreed to merge the two companies to become more effective, efficient providers of wireless, broadband, video, voice and data markets, the companies said.

The merger, a $67 billion stock transaction, is intended to speed the convergence services and embrace the industry’s shift to Internet Protocol network-based technologies. According to the companies, consumers seeking an alternative to cable monopolies should see a faster deployment of next-generation IP television networks.

AT&T’s entry into IPTV and its R&D work at AT&T Labs coupled with BellSouth’s deployment of extensive fiber networks for DSL will position the combined company to compete with the cable industry.

The merger is subject to shareholder and government approval. The deal is expected to close in about a year.

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