Cable Tech

Poll: Lucent Faces Bigger Cull

Light Readers believe the merger of Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) will result in more layoffs than projected by the companies, and that Lucent will bear the brunt of the carnage. (See AlcaLu: Threat or Menace?)

Alcatel and Lucent said at the time the merger was announced in April that the collective headcount of the companies would drop by about 10 percent. Of readers responding to our "AlcaLu: Threat or Menace" poll published last week, 63 percent say the job cuts will go deeper than that. Twenty-five percent say AlcaLu will be true to its word on the 10 percent layoff, while 7 percent say less than 10 percent of employees will be let go. (See Alcatel/Lucent: No Job Cut Clarity Yet.)

Light Readers also believe most of the pink slips will land on Lucent desks. A whopping 70 percent of poll takers believe the headcount reduction will have the greatest impact on New Jersey-based Lucent, while only 6 percent say the majority will come from Alcatel. Twenty-four percent believe it will be about equal. (See Lucatel: French Staff Not Safe.)

And when the dust settles, most of our poll takers, 54 percent, reckon Alcatel-Lucent will be a stronger rival for its competitors, while only 27 percent say the competition will look back fondly on the day Alcatel and Lucent wed.

Notably, almost 20 percent of those who took our poll say the merger will make no competitive difference at all.

Alcatel and Lucent said November 17 they had received final approval for their merger from U.S. president George W. Bush and expect to complete their merger today, November 30. (See Bush Approves Alcatel Lucent.)

Some U.S. regulators may have been concerned about the security implications of the Alcatel-Lucent merger, but most Light Readers aren't. (See US to Watch Alcatel Lucent.)

Only 18 percent believe Alcatel-Lucent, which will be based in Paris and majority-owned by French investors, will represent such a threat.

Seventy-three percent of our poll-takers say the merger represents no threat; 9 percent say they don't know.

Finally, almost half of our poll takers (49 percent) respond "Oui" to the probing question "Can the French be trusted?" Thirty-nine percent say "Non." The remaining 13 percent responded "Ne sais pas," which, the Monkey says, means "I love fleas."

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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