Sunday, March 05, 2006 - AT&T Nears $65 Billion Deal To Buy BellSouth - AT&T Nears $65 Billion Deal To Buy BellSouth: "An AT&T-BellSouth deal would effectively cleave the nation's telecom services in two, each vertically integrated with a local phone operation, business services, and wireless unit. And it would effectively validate the vision of competition laid out by the government -- one in which traditional telecom firms compete directly against cable operators rather than against each other. The move would give AT&T Inc. sole control over Cingular, the nation's largest wireless operator.
A combination between AT&T and BellSouth could have combined market capitalization of nearly $160 billion, making AT&T far larger than rival Verizon. The deal would nonetheless set a showdown between AT&T and Verizon, as the two fight to control wireless, the growth portion of the telecom business."

Ahh -- so telephony is a natural duopoly rather than a natural monopoly, apparently...

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