AT&T + BellSouth = Bad for consumers?

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Yesterday, the Justice Department gave its blessing to the biggest telecom deal this country's ever seen: AT&T's $78 billion buyout of Bellsouth. The Federal Communications Commission was supposed to vote on it today, but the FCC has postponed the vote until Friday. We don't why, but we do know that not everyone supports this merger. More now from Lisa Napoli.


LISA NAPOLI: When it comes to AT&T's buyout of BellSouth, The Justice Department doesn't have anti-trust concerns, but the merger can't go through until the FCC says yes to the deal and two FCC commissioners say it's bad for consumers-and competition.

But Scott Cleland of research firm Precursor says there's plenty of competition in the telecom sector. And he says worries about the merger are a disconnect from reality.

SCOTT CLELAND: This merger makes so much sense, it hurts. Both Bell South and AT&T jointly own Cingular. And it's a very inefficient way to run a wireless company. So the synergies and the savings are just off the charts.

Like $18 billion worth.

AT&T has said if the deal goes through it would phase out 10,000 jobs over the next three years.

In New York, I'm Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.

About the author

In more then twenty years in journalism, Lisa Napoli has managed to work for almost every major

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