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AT&T Willing to Let Merger Die?
Ed Whitacre could back away, suggests analyst
by Karl Bode 09:02AM Monday Nov 27 2006
"[AT&T CEO] Ed Whitacre is willing to let the BellSouth deal die, a sensible move given the price has gone up $17B since March when the deal was announced and $29B since January," writes industry analyst Dave Burstein in his latest newsletter. "The best informed D.C. folks believe the fix is in, and McDowell will suddenly discover that his conflict of interest has suddenly disappeared so he can pass the deal - Ethics be dashed," he writes.

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FFH
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join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

"The best informed D.C. folks believe the fix is in, and McDowell will suddenly discover that his conflict of interest has suddenly disappeared so he can pass the deal - Ethics be dashed," he writes.
It isn't McDowell's call whether he votes or not, so the ethics be damned charge is meaningless. It is up to the General Counsel, pressured by Martin of course, that will force McDowell to vote.
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ropeguru
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join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

Re: Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

Whether or not it is ethincs on McDowell or Martin, it is still an ethics issue in my opinion.
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qdemn7
Smurf in My Loop
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join:2003-09-16
Fort Worth, TX

Re: Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

said by ropeguru:

Whether or not it is ethincs on McDowell or Martin, it is still an ethics issue in my opinion.
Guess I'm missing something. What exactly IS the ethics issue?
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ropeguru
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Mechanicsville, VA

Re: Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

said by qdemn7:

said by ropeguru:

Whether or not it is ethincs on McDowell or Martin, it is still an ethics issue in my opinion.
Guess I'm missing something. What exactly IS the ethics issue?
The fact that McDowell used to be on the telecom payroll and his opinion and vote would be biased towards approving for finanacial gain.
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FFH
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Tavistock NJ
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2 edits

1 recommendation

Re: Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

said by ropeguru:

said by qdemn7:

said by ropeguru:

Whether or not it is ethincs on McDowell or Martin, it is still an ethics issue in my opinion.
Guess I'm missing something. What exactly IS the ethics issue?
The fact that McDowell used to be on the telecom payroll and his opinion and vote would be biased towards approving for finanacial gain.
Actually, it is just the opposite. He represented a CLEC association before the FCC and argued for conditions to a merger. And that is why he excused himself from the AT&T/BS merger case. That would seem to indicate he would be against an AT&T merger without conditions.
»www.njtelecomupdate.com/lenya/te···712.html
McDowell has been acting as if recused from FCC deliberations on the largest telecommunications transaction in U.S. history -- on the grounds that he previously was an attorney and lobbyist for CompTel, an industry association representing Bell company competitors.
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T1 Rocky

join:2002-11-15
Dallas, TX

Re: Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

Re: Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

I don't follow - what is General Counsel?

Also, when they are saying the fix is in, what are they referring to? This article is a little vague....

There's no way Whitacre is going to let this merger fall through in my opinion. He's personally spent the last 11 years undoing the telecom Act of 96 piece by piece and now are we to believe he's willing to walk away when there's only 3 companies left? I'm glad (and suprised) the democrats have opposed this merger. When the merger is complete (and whitacre will make sure that it gets done) the loser is going to be the consumer.

FFH
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1 edit

Re: Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

said by T1 Rocky:

Re: Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

I don't follow - what is General Counsel?

Also, when they are saying the fix is in, what are they referring to? This article is a little vague....

The General Counsel(head lawyer) for the FCC can rule that in the best interests of the public that McDowell must vote on the merger to break the deadlock, even though McDowell excused himself from the case claiming conflict of interest.

By "the fix is in", they mean that McDowell(a Republican) would most likely vote with the other 2 Republicans and approve the merger with only minor conditions being required. Saying "the fix is in" just means that those opposed to the merger wouldn't be happy if the merger is approved. But, of course, there is no way of knowing for sure how McDowell will vote. He may vote with the Dems and only approve the merger with many conditions being required.
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T1 Rocky

join:2002-11-15
Dallas, TX

Re: Not up to McDowell; the General Counsel is the key

Thanks for the clarification. Man this is a mess.
majortom64

join:2004-09-12
Skokie, IL
said by T1 Rocky:

There's no way Whitacre is going to let this merger fall through in my opinion. He's personally spent the last 11 years undoing the telecom Act of 96 piece by piece and now are we to believe he's willing to walk away when there's only 3 companies left?
What has he been doing that undoes the Telecom Act of 1996?

When the merger is complete (and whitacre will make sure that it gets done) the loser is going to be the consumer.
How is this merger going to be bad for consumers? Are you arguing that AT&T would decide to move into Bell South territory and compete there? It just is not going to happen.

Alpine
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join:2000-01-11
Atlanta, GA

1 recommendation

Actually, it is just the opposite. He represented a CLEC association before the FCC and argued for conditions to a merger. And that is why he excused himself from the AT&T/BS merger case. That would seem to indicate he would be against an AT&T merger without conditions.
Exactly. The anti-telco zealots, including DSLPrime, seem conveniently to forget the fact that he used to be a lobbyist FOR THE COMPETITION. Doesn't exactly scream that "the fix is in" (at least for AT&T) does it?

But hey, what would the zealots whine about if they paid attention to those pesky 'fact' things, right?



Adam

kingmoon

join:2001-10-30
Buford, GA

1 recommendation

please let it DIE!!!

I honestly hope it does die as bellsouth is a much better company than ATT and having ATT buy bellsouth would mean that most of what bellsouth has planned in the next few years would probably go down the toilet since ATT believes 6meg service is all people realy need/want PLEASE we need to become more like europe where 25meg+ is the norm
Semi751

join:2006-01-03
Waddy, KY

Bellsouth is terrible

BS better? I guess that depends where you live. Bellsouth in KY is notorious for refusing to upgrade their network to any degree even though they service much of the most populated part of the state. In 2000 when I sold my house there was a year and a half wait for a new phone (basic service) to the new owners because BS refused to upgrade the network.

In 2002 I tried to get ISDN from bellsouth as only 3 blocks in Downtown Frankfort were served with DSL, even ISDN wasn't available. Still today in 2006 I cannot get ISDN let alone DSL. Very few parts of the BS service are in KY are served with DSL while the remote rural areas served by Windstream and other companies have DSL to most homes. Even in extremely rural areas like 10 miles outside of Columbia KY (4,00 population) there is DSL available while in Frankfort and Shelbyville only portions of the town have DSL available. Thank god for cable with companies like Bellsouth.
Expand your moderator at work

verolom

join:2002-03-23
Reston, VA

Re: Bellsouth is terrible

Yes, I agree. BS standard DSL here is only 1.5 Mbps/256 kbps. I fail to see how that is better than SBC.
LeeWL

join:2002-11-10
Morrisville, NC

Re: Bellsouth is terrible

said by verolom:

Yes, I agree. BS standard DSL here is only 1.5 Mbps/256 kbps. I fail to see how that is better than SBC.
And the higher levels cost at least $10.00 a month more than similar tiers in the ATT/SBC areas so I am all for it.

kingmoon

join:2001-10-30
Buford, GA
You are one of the ones who are getting the HUGE upgrade Sad all you people see is there price not the REALITY of it all as in there service is truely best effort just look at there page it shows 3-6meg service not 6meg or 3meg or 1.5meg all ATT's services are this to this ,also there IS a reason ATT was broken up in the first place!!!! Mark my words whoever thinks this will be GOOD, in 5yrs i betcha you will not be sayin that....
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PHONEMAN

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Re: Bellsouth is terrible

BEFORE THE BABY BELLS WERE ALLOWED LONG DISTANCE, OUR PHONE BILLS WERE HIGHER. BEFORE INTERNET TELEPHONE YOU HAD CELL PHONE OR PAY PHONE AS YOUR ONLY OTHER OPTION. NOW WITH THE PHONE COMPANIES OFFERING TV SERVICE AND THE CABLE COMPANIES OFFERING TELEPHONE( AND AS OF LAST WEEK CELL SERVICE TOO) YOUR BILLS FOR THESE SERVICES ARE GOING TO FALL. THE REALITY IS IN THE FUTURE ALL THESE PLAYERS WILL HAVE TO INCREASE SPEEDS AND COVERAGE TO SURVIVE. THERE ARE MORE PLAYERS NOW THAN IN 1984. THAT IS WHY THERE IS CHANGE. THAT IS WHY THERE ARE MERGERS. ITS CALLED NATURAL ORDER--SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. THE COMPANIES THAT COMBINE THERE RESOURCES HAVE A BETTER CHANCE TO SURVIVE. UNDUE THE MERGERS AND SEE WHATS LEFT AND WHAT KIND OF ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY YOU GET

Fatal Vector

join:2005-11-26

Re: Bellsouth is terrible

"BEFORE THE BABY BELLS WERE ALLOWED LONG DISTANCE, OUR PHONE BILLS WERE HIGHER. BEFORE INTERNET TELEPHONE YOU HAD CELL PHONE OR PAY PHONE AS YOUR ONLY OTHER OPTION. NOW WITH THE PHONE COMPANIES OFFERING TV SERVICE AND THE CABLE COMPANIES OFFERING TELEPHONE( AND AS OF LAST WEEK CELL SERVICE TOO) YOUR BILLS FOR THESE SERVICES ARE GOING TO FALL. THE REALITY IS IN THE FUTURE ALL THESE PLAYERS WILL HAVE TO INCREASE SPEEDS AND COVERAGE TO SURVIVE. THERE ARE MORE PLAYERS NOW THAN IN 1984. THAT IS WHY THERE IS CHANGE. THAT IS WHY THERE ARE MERGERS. ITS CALLED NATURAL ORDER--SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. THE COMPANIES THAT COMBINE THERE RESOURCES HAVE A BETTER CHANCE TO SURVIVE. UNDUE THE MERGERS AND SEE WHATS LEFT AND WHAT KIND OF ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY YOU GET"

I have yet to see any of my bills, ESPECIALLY cellular and cable, do anything but go UP. The cable companies are doing nothing but repackaging standard cell plans at the sam prices. I think you need to get a clue.

It's not survival of the fittest, it's a matter of maintaining ones monopoly position. If they were really wanting to compete they would do what was necessary and then start entering each others areas and competing. The fact is that whitacre is trying to put Ma Bell back together and maintain the telco monopoly.

They should be forced to divest theirselves of the ownership of the plant and forced to compete with each other. THAT would lower prices and spur competition.
ctggzg
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USA
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Re: please let it DIE!!!

I moved from an AT&T/SBC area to BellSouth. I'd be happy to get AT&T back.

anonpronman

@optonline.net

Stock Fraud

This was nothing more than a ploy to artificially inflate the bellsouth stock price.

Do you really thing they didn't know the FCC wasn't going to approve this merger?

Come on now, how naive are you?

Time to call for an SEC investigation

bassthumpa
Premium
join:2000-12-26
Austin, TX

Re: Stock Fraud

said by anonpronman :

This was nothing more than a ploy to artificially inflate the bellsouth stock price.

Do you really thing they didn't know the FCC wasn't going to approve this merger?

Come on now, how naive are you?

Time to call for an SEC investigation
That's a pretty flimsy straw that you're reaching for...
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NetFixer
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The briar patch revisited

Am I the only one who thinks that this story sounds somewhat familiar?

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dslextreme2
Premium
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Canoga Park, CA

1 edit

This is just political posturing

The deal will go through after BellSouth investors get scared and dump the stock dropping the price. Talk about market manipulation.

verolom

join:2002-03-23
Reston, VA

Re: This is just political posturing

Well let's not pull all of our hair out. The whole thing is a scam. I feel little regret for the poor chaps financially or otherwise invested in either of these two and a half companies.
daveberstein

join:2002-07-15
New York, NY

Dave Burstein here

Comments welcome. On the ethics of McDowell voting, my point is that if it was a conflict in October (when Martin thought the deal would go through) it was still a conflict in December (when Martin wants the vote).

I don't hate telcos, incidentally, and have recently praised Verizon and others. I just think the U.S. deserves world class internet service, which I know from my technical reporting is 100 megabits in 2007 and 2008. AT&T isn't coming close, and that's a disservice.

93388818
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Dallas, TX

Re: Dave Burstein here

What's your opinion on McDowell and it being a conflict of interest in the first place? McDowell did work on behalf of CLECs, against the ILECs. Wouldn't abstaining from voting and ensuring the deadlock be furthering the anti-telco, pro CLEC cause?
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batterup
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Netcong, NJ
said by daveberstein:

I don't hate telcos, incidentally, and have recently praised Verizon and others. I just think the U.S. deserves world class internet service, which I know from my technical reporting is 100 megabits in 2007 and 2008. AT&T isn't coming close, and that's a disservice.
Why does every residential home need 100/100 megabytes?

XBL2009
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join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL

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Re: Dave Burstein here

said by batterup:

said by daveberstein:

I don't hate telcos, incidentally, and have recently praised Verizon and others. I just think the U.S. deserves world class internet service, which I know from my technical reporting is 100 megabits in 2007 and 2008. AT&T isn't coming close, and that's a disservice.
Why does every residential home need 100/100 megabytes?
Cause the whole world is passing the US by in Internet speeds and it's beginning to hurt innovation. Ideas that need 100 megabits or say 15 megabits to work can't so they won't be invested in.

In foreign countries they will and America loses out.
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fiber_man
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Re: Dave Burstein here

I would like to see your business plan. To upgrade the entire system is in the 10's of billions if not more. Private companies are here to make a profit for themselves and their shareholders. Also waiting on others companies to manufacture the gear, install it in the field, and get it up and running takes time.
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batterup
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said by XBL2009:

said by batterup:

said by daveberstein:

I don't hate telcos, incidentally, and have recently praised Verizon and others. I just think the U.S. deserves world class internet service, which I know from my technical reporting is 100 megabits in 2007 and 2008. AT&T isn't coming close, and that's a disservice.
Why does every residential home need 100/100 megabytes?
Cause the whole world is passing the US by in Internet speeds and it's beginning to hurt innovation. Ideas that need 100 megabits or say 15 megabits to work can't so they won't be invested in.

In foreign countries they will and America loses out.
The intelligent people all live in areas that now offer all the broadband one needs.

XBL2009
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join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL

Re: Dave Burstein here

said by batterup:

The intelligent people all live in areas that now offer all the broadband one needs.
Not true and like I said ideas and software that would need super fast connection to work are not being invested in here in the USA but elsewhere they are.

America deserves a 100 megabit network and we were promised one by SBC by 2009.

I'm not holding my breath.
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93388818
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Dallas, TX
It takes time and money to deploy that technology effectively. The first step of U-Verse begins that process by driving fiber deeper into the field, and closer to the home. Last I checked it's 2006.
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d00mz

SBC

@pacbell.net

AT&T Willing to Let Merger Die?

You have got to be kidding - This will go through!

prestonlewis
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join:2003-04-13
Sacramento, CA

doesn't matter

I personally did not like the 1984 breakup of AT&T but now I'm used to it. I lived through the loss of Pacific & Nevada Bell to SBC and our service here became worse. PacBell plans to improve things fell to the wayside and SBC/AT&T was stagnant in our market. So I doubt the AT&T purchase of Southern Bell (oops, now call BellSouth but why?) will do anything but slow progress down as AT&T becomes busy absorbing BS (bad initials, isn't it?) and other areas like mine continue to be stagnant/ignored.

Which leaves cable to steal away telco business. I already use Vonage as my primary phone (reliable, good voice quality). If Comcast rolls out a good VOIP service, I might go with them. At the moment, AT&T is my last choice. They are so busy buying other telcos that they give me really no reason to go back to them.