Monday, January 31, 2005

The End of AT&T

Not sure what exact significance this has, but it nonetheless somehow seems to be significant.

After 128 years as an independent company, since just after the invention of the telephone that's the centerpiece of its business, AT&T will be absorbed into its offspring SBC Communications in a stock-and-cash deal valued at $16 billion.

SBC also will be assuming about $6 billion in AT&T's net debt, bringing the total value of the deal to $22 billion.

SBC, announcing the deal Monday, said it could find value in AT&T even with the decline in its traditional long distance business. Shares of AT&T fell about 5.6 percent in early trading Monday morning while shares of SBC were down slightly.

The deal marks the end of several eras, one that started with company founder Alexander Graham Bell, and another that began when a federal judge split the original company into eight separate entities in 1984.