Verizon Snags MCI for $6.75 Billion

Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

February 14, 2005

1 Min Read
Verizon Snags MCI for $6.75 Billion

Cable operators lost another potential partner in the IP telephony business earlier today when Verizon Communications inked a deal to buy MCI for nearly $6.75 billion in stock and cash. In beating out Qwest Communications, Verizon locked up the rights to MCI's 14 million residential long-distance phone customers and more than 1 million corporate customers. But, more ominously for cable, the deal makes Verizon an even stronger telecom player and likely removes MCI as a possible provider of equipment, connectivity and provisioning services for future cable VoIP rollouts. Slightly more than a year ago, MCI and Sprint Corp. signed pacts to support Time Warner Cable's VoIP rollout in 31 markets across the U.S. But now MCI is slated to become part of Verizon, a direct cable competitor, while cable-friendly Sprint is merging with Nextel. Finally, AT&T Corp., another potential cable VoIP partner, is due to be swallowed up by SBC Communications, cable's other big telco rival. So, unless cable operators can swing deals with either T-Mobile or the new Nextel-Sprint combination, they may be on their own in rolling out VoIP nationwide. Could it be time for the cable industry to start its own phone venture?

About the Author(s)

Alan Breznick

Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Alan Breznick is a business editor and research analyst who has tracked the cable, broadband and video markets like an over-bred bloodhound for more than 20 years.

As a senior analyst at Light Reading's research arm, Heavy Reading, for six years, Alan authored numerous reports, columns, white papers and case studies, moderated dozens of webinars, and organized and hosted more than 15 -- count 'em --regional conferences on cable, broadband and IPTV technology topics. And all this while maintaining a summer job as an ostrich wrangler.

Before that, he was the founding editor of Light Reading Cable, transforming a monthly newsletter into a daily website. Prior to joining Light Reading, Alan was a broadband analyst for Kinetic Strategies and a contributing analyst for One Touch Intelligence.

He is based in the Toronto area, though is New York born and bred. Just ask, and he will take you on a power-walking tour of Manhattan, pointing out the tourist hotspots and the places that make up his personal timeline: The bench where he smoked his first pipe; the alley where he won his first fist fight. That kind of thing.

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