Mergers & acquisitions

LR Poll: Merger Won't Spur Competition

Nearly three fourths of Light Readers polled this week say that the combination of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) will not improve competition in the communications industry. (See Ma Bell Is Back!.)

Shortly after the mother of all mega-mergers was announced on Sunday, Light Reading put up its most recent poll -- Ma Returns -- measuring the feelings of you, our dear readers, on an almost completely reassembled Ma FrankenBell. So far, 177 readers have taken the poll. (See Will AT&T Become Ma Video?.)

The combination of two phone company giants will result in one fewer phone company, but that won't ease the pressure on phone company competitors. Thirty-five percent of those polled say the cable MSOs will feel most of the competitive pressure resulting from the deal, while about the same number feel that the other U.S. BOCs -- Verizon and Qwest -- will feel the most heat.

Finally, most of our readers who took the poll don’t believe AT&T merger mania is over. Nearly 60 percent said the carrier will make another major acquisition. (See Cingular's Converged Future.)

Who could AT&T possibly consume next? If you have an inside track, or a wild-ass guess, feel free to let us know on the board below.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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