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AT&T to Acquire BellSouth

The AT&T name has been up and down, bought and sold since the company was broken up by the Government back in the mid 1980's. Now, it is set to become a household name again. SBC, the former Southwestern Bell, renamed itself AT&T after buying that company in 2005. Now, with its announced purchase of BellSouth, AT&T will be the local phone company to most of the southern U.S., and it will be the largest wireless compay in the U.S., as the AT&T name will likely replace that of Cingular, which was jointly owned by AT&T and BellSouth.

Although this deal will create the largest telecom company in the country, it will likely get easy approval by the Justice Department. The reason is that competition and innovation has exploded in recent years, with cable companies and alternative technologies (e.g., VoIP) limiting the market power of any one company, no matter how large.

The combined AT&T, like other large phone and cable companies, are trying to get you, the consumer, to buy a bundle of services from them --- home phone, wireless, TV and Internet access. Our opinion is this: Just because a big company tells you that they can offer you all these services, doesn't mean you should take them up on it. Build your own bundle, by evaluating each service individually. Chances are you'll not only end up with a lower total bill, but you'll end up with plans and services that more closely match your individual needs.