The AT&T and BellSouth Merger: What Does It Mean for Consumers?

By: Jonathan Rubin

For some businesses, AT&T and BellSouth are among the few—if not the only two— providers which offer the type of complex telecom services they need.  Although, as the testimony for this hearing has shown, there appears to be some dispute about how many businesses will find themselves in this position.  Due to this merger, many of these businesses will be losing a choice, and some may even be left with only one choice, which raises obvious competitive concerns.  On the other hand, however, a combined company may be in a better position to invest in new services for business and corporate customers.  How do the merged company’s claims of an enhanced ability to invest in new services for business customers weigh against the potential loss of competition due to this merger, and how does this merger affect the marketplace?

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