Growing a Monste Monopolyr: SBC in Talks To Buy AT&T

SBC is the Clear Channel of telecomm. Starting out as one of the regional bells after the AT&T breakup, SBC is now one of the predominant telecomm companies in the US, especially after swallowing up Ameritech a few years ago.

And SBC is not just Clear Channelish in size, but in tactics, too. Back when it took over Ameritech, the company slashed customer service resources and ran roughshod on employees. When the Illinois utility regulators tried to crack down, the company called a halt to DSL rollout in Chicago. SBC plays hardball.

So, it can’t be seen as a good thing for the public that SBC is considering buying AT&T. Granted, there’s not much of old Ma Bell left these days, most recently having sold off its wireless business to Cingular. However, AT&T still has big resources in longhaul data networks and internet that SBC doesn’t.

An SBC/AT&T combo could create a monster with power over the ‘net and the last mile. Gee, that sound a lot like the old AT&T which controlled long distance in addition to local telephone companies. And we used to call that a monopoly.

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