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Verizon To Acquire MCI For $6.7 Billion

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the shifting-sands-of-time dept.

Businesses 282

An anonymous reader submits "Even after a last minute offer from Qwest Communications, MCI board members accepted a less lucrative offer from Verizon to be bought for $6.7 billion in cash, stock and dividends. The acquisition comes after Nextel Communications and Sprint Corp. partnered up in a $35 billion deal and SBC Communications Inc. and AT&T Corp. announced a $16 billion merger plan. So, what's next for the telecom industry?"

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Frost pist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671169)

happy effin vday. venrial deisaese day

In soviet russia (0, Offtopic)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671174)

Verizon aquires you!

Merger Madness (2, Insightful)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671175)

Sprint to aquire Nextel, SBC to Aquire AT&T, Verizon to aquire MCI.

Take a freakin' breather already. All in the name of screwing the consumer over, I'd bet.

Re:Merger Madness (0, Flamebait)

Austin Milbarge (723855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671219)

and half of these companies' products still don't work 50% of the time. I call this the "Gates Epidemic"; Companies that make fortunes off of products that only have to work sometimes.

Re:Merger Madness (1)

SelectionShort (841117) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671506)

Next up is SBCATTMCISprintelizon!! Then Microsoft Buys that. and calls it Microsoft. Duh. Willy G

Re:Merger Madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671542)

All in the name of screwing the consumer over, I'd bet.

Welcome to America!

one company too rule them all (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671184)

and in the darkness connect them

Attention mods (1, Insightful)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671368)

Who modded this OT? It is, in fact, directly on-topic, and funny to boot.

And no, I am not the original poster...

Re:Attention mods (3, Insightful)

gammygator (820041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671487)

I think some folks either don't have a sense of humor and/or consider any attempt at humor off topic. Or, god forbid, we have Slashdotters who don't know about Tolkien.

MCI... (1, Informative)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671186)

this is the same MCI that used to be "WorldCom" that went bust after accounting frauds, no?

i'm still pissed that corporate frauds go around, change their name, hide their past and go on business as usual...

Re:MCI... (4, Informative)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671231)

Actually, they've been MCI for a long time. They only merged with WorldCom in 1997. They were MCI before that, they were MCI WorldCom from 1997 to 2000, and after the fraud scandal, they became MCI again.

The only time they didn't have MCI in their name was between 2000 and the fraud scandal, which was a pretty short time. So, yeah, they're scum, but they're not really hiding. They're hiding a little, because the scandal is usually associated with WorldCom's name, but if they really wanted to hide their past, they'd come up with a completely new name.

Re:MCI... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671344)

They're hiding a little, because the scandal is usually associated with WorldCom's name,

That's because MCI was effectively taken over by Worldcom. Ebbers was the CEO of Worldcom before the "merger".

Re:MCI... (1)

kjj (32549) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671250)

You are right, and Verizon will assume something like 4 billion in MCI debt that they are still trying to pay off. Doesn't seem like a smart deal for Verizon.

Re:MCI... (2, Interesting)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671477)

Verizon will assume something like 4 billion in MCI debt that they are still trying to pay off. Doesn't seem like a smart deal for Verizon.

Assuming that much debt is a problem. OTOH, Verizon gains millions (exact number?) of consumer customers and thousands of business customers. It also eliminates a competitor.

All in all, a very smart deal for Verizon. It's just very bad for those of us that live in Verizon's territory. Good thing that I have the choice of different carriers (for now).

Re:MCI... (5, Insightful)

ugmoe (776194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671278)

http://www.virginiainstitute.org/viewpoint/2003_13 .html [virginiainstitute.org]

These opponents play to people's sense of outrage at the corporate scandals that rocked the business world last year, as well as to the breathtaking extent of the $11 billion accounting fraud at WorldCom. Their main claim is that allowing MCI to exit bankruptcy would allow it to profit from its "ill-gotten gains." Both justice and deterrence, they argue, require that MCI be dismembered, if not put to death.

Such claims understandably strike an emotional chord with America's scandal-weary public. Yet those claims are wrong all the same. Simply put, MCI retains no "ill-gotten gains" from the accounting fraud. Whatever short-term advantage the company might have gained has already been lost, many times over. In his opinion on the recent litigation between the SEC and MCI, Federal district court judge Jed Rakoff placed the liquidation value of the company at less than $6 billion. This value pales in comparison with the $200 billion by which WorldCom's equity has plunged.

In the overall scheme of things, there can be little doubt but that MCI would be in stronger shape today had the fraud never occurred, than it will be if it is allowed to emerge from bankruptcy.

While MCI's liquidation would be good for its rivals, it would be bad for the consuming public. It would reduce the choices available to many consumers of telecom services, force 20 million MCI customers to find new suppliers, and leave more of the telecom market under the control of the still relatively monopolistic Baby Bell companies. Local phone competition, which has finally started to deliver major savings to consumers in recent years, would take an especially big hit. Also wrong are claims that the liquidation of MCI is a means to secure justice and promote deterrence against such misdeeds in the future. Justice is served by punishing responsible individuals. So is deterrence. Neither is served by wreaking punishment indiscriminately on such innocent people as workers, investors, creditors, and customers.

To penalize an entire corporation for the misdeeds of some of its officials is to spread the resulting loss among all participants in the corporation. If corporate misdeeds are punished at the individual level, deterrence works as it is supposed to work. But if those misdeeds are punished at the corporate level, the deterrence effect is weakened and the injustice compounded.

It would be different if all participants within WorldCom had agreed to engage in fraudulent practice. But this is clearly not what happened. A few crooked executives engaged in fraudulent activity, and the practice was halted and made public when other individuals within the company became aware of it. To punish MCI wholesale would be to punish those innocent individuals and not the guilty wrongdoers.

It is easy to see why the entrenched incumbents are so keen to bring about MCI's demise. The likes of AT&T and the Baby Bells would rather feed on WorldCom's carcass than see it rejuvenated and have to compete with it for business. The public good, however, would be far better served if MCI receives a second chance instead of an early grave

Re:MCI... (0, Redundant)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671282)

Yeah, they made a bad name for themselves, so they changed it.

Re:MCI... (4, Interesting)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671291)

and the same MCI that is the number 1 spammer according to the Spamhaus charts [spamhaus.org] . Spamhaus also put out this article [spamhaus.org] charging that MCI profits from spam. Verizon's getting all that.

Re:MCI... (1)

oliana (181649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671348)

http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/worldcom.htm [sec.gov]

Yeah, after MCI is forced to pay $500M in cash and 10M in stock to investers victims of the fraud, and various people got fired, banned from holding office in any publicliy traded company, fined, sued, and had to "repay" any "ill-gotten gain."

If that's business as usual, I don't want any part of it.

Re:MCI... (4, Insightful)

iabervon (1971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671585)

You'd rather they evaporated entirely, disabling one of the internet backbones, leaving 75 government agencies and much of the Fortune 1000 without phone and internet service, putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work, and completely destroying the investments of people taken in by the accounting fraud? Maybe the assets and obligations should go to some organization capable of managing them honestly?

This isn't really the same MCI that was involved in accounting fraud, because the individuals involved in the fraud aren't there any more. Even if they were, after being bought by Verizon, they wouldn't be in charge any more. The idea that a corporation is a legal entity with rights and responsibilities is a useful fiction in making the law function at all, but it doesn't actually make sense to talk about "the same MCI" from then to now.

Progress? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671194)

I think as long as the American political scene remains the way it is, we will see more and more consolidation in telecom companies, as well as other industries. Good or bad, probably bad, but we'll just have to wait and see if anyone can deliver on promises of the teletainment networks of the future

Re:Progress? (2, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671254)

This happend during the previous administration too. Its really a funny situation where free markets would have worked, if it wasn't for the pesky problem of much of every teclos assests exist because of government grants.

Re:Progress? (1)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671262)

It's probably good.

The good part about competition in such an industry is that it lowers prices. Prices on most of their services are basically as uninflated as they get. That said, now we can hope for things like better coverage (from the ATTWS/Cingular merger) or better services from consolidation. Of course these things take time. :-/

Re:Progress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671472)

You're a phone company executive, huh?

Whenever there's less competition, the service gets worse. There's no up-side here unless you just made a chunk of the $6 billion or have found a way to use the lack of competition to screw customers out of more than that $6 billion.

"Prices on most of their services are basically as uninflated as they get."

Which is why you have to buy blocks of time instead of just paying for what you use?

Re:Progress? (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671512)

Whenever there's less competition, the service gets worse.

Verizon's service could get worse? Is that even possible?

Don't forget Canada too. (4, Interesting)

DJStealth (103231) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671198)

In Canada we had the following:

Telus purchased Clearnet
Rogers & Shaw swap regions so they each have cable monopoly in their region.
Rogers purchased Fido

Re:Don't forget Canada too. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671421)

For those of us who don't live in Canada, you could replace every single word of this post with "blah" and it would be just as meaningful.

Re:Don't forget Canada too. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671479)

Hey, that's a great story! Kill yourself.

Re:Don't forget Canada too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671576)

Guess what? Nobody cares.

Capitalism at its finest (0, Flamebait)

ChuckSchwab (813568) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671208)

I for one am not surprised. This is what happens when you let the corporations have free reigns. Just a few more mergers like this and you're not going to have any choice whatsoever in telecommunications. That's why we need more regulation in the interest of consumers: so we don't have to go back to the days of "we're the phone company, we don't have to care". I think it's time to abolish corporations too, while we're at it.

Re:Capitalism at its finest (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671290)

Chuck Schwab? The Chuck Schwab? Geez Chuck, get a clue stick! :)

Re:Capitalism at its finest (1)

ChuckSchwab (813568) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671366)

Sorry, forgot I was using that username for that post.

Re:Capitalism at its finest (1, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671424)

I think it's time to abolish corporations too, while we're at it.

Why stop there? While we're at it, I think it's time we abolish this whole ownership society thing. The whole concept of private property is offensive. Why should we allow individuals to believe they are better than anyone else, and have things that others don't?

There are needy people out there that are being trampled by greedy, heartless bigots who are unwilling to sacrifice their own luxury for the collective good.

It's time for government to force these corporations to cough up their ill-gotten gains, and give it back to the people who are victimized by these hatemongering corporations.

Re:What choice? (0, Flamebait)

Macrat (638047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671446)

What makes you think there is any choice in the US today?

Same crappy service. Same crappy phones.

All the good cell phone technology is OUTSIDE the US.

Re:Capitalism at its finest (1)

tommyth (848039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671476)

Where do you live? There hasn't been a choice for cable companies for years. The cable companies own the cable lines, and you HAVE to buy their service, or get no service at all. Obviously the story is about phone service, but the idea is the same: it will happen.

I know what's next... (1)

coolfrood (459411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671211)

... there won't ever be a monopolistic telecom company. There's no precedent for that.. oh wait, nevermind.

The second time around (2, Funny)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671218)

Because the first one would have been a bit difficult [findlaw.com] given the way the books were being cooked at the time (of course MCI was called "WorldCom" back then, but hey, change thy name and stay shiny).

Interesting.

MCI common speaches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671224)

> MCI USA direct. This is Mary speakin' to ya, how can I help ya ?

> MCI Steven, how can I help ya ?

> MCI we appreciate your business

Murders and Executions (2, Informative)

whackco (599646) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671226)

I wonder who will benfit from this deal?

Somehow I doubt it will be the employee's...

[INSERT FUD]
The EMPLOYEES will collect the most benifits as in Unemployment...
on a less troll note, doesn't the FCC have to sanction these murders..ur... mergers? I wonder if they will allow all these to go through...

What's next... (1, Insightful)

1000101 (584896) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671233)


"So, what's next for the telecom industry?"

More crappy support and dropped calls?

Re:What's next... (1)

dcclark (846336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671336)

My parents live in a VERY rural area. The phone lines leading down the road and into their house are likely the first lines ever there. They are tremendously bad quality, both for voice and internet access. Repeated calls to the phone company have done nothing.

So, my question is, after all these mergers and changes and "improvements" ... will my parents be able to connect via dialup at speeds better than 24k? Will they be able to call people without ridiculous amounts of static? Might their cell phones actually have service in more than half the state? In other words, will they see any real benefit?

I'm not holding my breath.

I'll tell you what's next (4, Funny)

alexwcovington (855979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671236)

The hot new board game from Parker Brothers hits the shelves: Telecom MONOPOLY

Re:I'll tell you what's next (1)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671404)

The hot new board game from Parker Brothers hits the shelves: Telecom MONOPOLY

You'll receive a copy of the game next month, with a mandated $5.99 monthly fee. To opt-out, please send a written letter stating your request. We will handle your request in 60-90 days.

Re:I'll tell you what's next (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671416)

Fun for all ages, up to 1 player!

Great (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671244)

* SBC owns AT&T
* Verizon owns MCI

After the baby bells were broken up, we had this very nice period where briefly, though you may not have had a choice of local phone providers, you had a real and serious choice of long-distance phone providers. Anyone else suspect this era is about to end? I think we're about to quickly go to the point where your regional local-phone monopoly quickly becomes a regional long-distance phone monopoly.

Who wants to take bets on how many SBC customers will be using MCI in five years, or how many Verizon customers will be using AT&T?

The End Of Telcos (4, Insightful)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671341)

If that happens, the telcos will have screwed themselves.



Why bother with a high-price telco with crappy services when you can get Vonage or Skype or any number of IP-based carriers that will be able to provide the same service cheaper and faster than traditional telcos.



You tend to see consolidation in dying industries - POTS is becoming a dying industry. Once VOIP starts really hitting the mainstream, that line of revenue will only continue to dry up.



Right now the money is in cellular service (where there's usually at least one local/regional company competing with the big boys - or at least there has been in my experience), and in VOIP. Either the telcos adapt or die.



As we've learned from both the dinosaurs and AOL/TimeWarner, sometimes being big and complex isn't a good thing from an evolutionary standpoint.

Re:The End Of Telcos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671407)

Why bother with a high-price telco with crappy services when you can get Vonage or Skype or any number of IP-based carriers that will be able to provide the same service cheaper and faster than traditional telcos.

Yeah, and who are you going to be getting that Internet service from to use your VoIP service? Oh yeah. That's right. Verizon.

Okay, no problem, I'll just go get a cell phone instead. Except, oh wait a minute, I live in a hole in the Sprint network, so, the only serious cell phone provider in my area is Verizon.

Hooray for the depth of choice offered by capitalism!

Re:The End Of Telcos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671468)

Yeah, and who are you going to be getting that Internet service from to use your VoIP service?

Comcast, Charter, TimeWarner, etc, etc. There are other providers of Internet service besides the local phone companies.

Re:The End Of Telcos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671536)

Ah, no. Generally there's one other provider. Since local phone companies and local cable companies generally enjoy a natural monopoly-- only one group can actually own the wires going into your house-- this means you've got at most either a local DSL provider, or a local cable provider.

So if you want internet high-speed enough to use VoIP, you're going to have to buy from one of these two.

Except let's say you happen to live in an area where either DSL isn't offered, or cable isn't of acceptable quality. Many areas fall into one or more of these categories. You now have one choice.

If that one choice is Verizon, you are now screwed. Soon you will have no viable options either in your local phone service, or your long-distance phone service, or your internet service provider. You'll still have a choice of getting television service through Verizon IPTV or Satellite, of course! Enjoy that while you can.

What's next? (1, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671246)

Crap.

Followed by the big names getting into IP telephony, and promptly turning that into crap.

Frightening (1)

KinkifyTheNation (823618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671248)

I grew up as a child seeing AT&T and MCI all over the place, I always thought they were just the only two telecom companies. It's almost heartbreaking to see all these childhood symbols and companies being sold off or destroyed, even if they really didn't have much impact on my life otherwise.

Better Verizon than Qwest.... (2, Insightful)

Qwijib0 (628639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671252)

From what I've seen out of qwest here in the west, verizon is a better company. Lesser of two evils I suppose.

In other news... (1)

chipster (661352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671253)

"Cingular, Verizon, and Qwest merge...It's Ma Bell all over again"

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671371)

Cingular, Verizon, and Qwest merge

The three were about to merge, but their plans were thwarted when it was discovered that the world's supply of stupid committee-selected synthetic corporate names has finally been exhausted, so there would be no way to refer to the new conglomerate.

The cycle will be complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671255)

All the Baby Bells will reunite in another monstrous single entity, that will become so bad thet the government would have to intervene and break it up again.
Unless the new MamaBell will take over the government faster ....

Spam... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671259)

Let's just hope Verizon can clean up MCI's abuse department. Right now MCI is one of the world's worst when it comes to host spammed domains.

Pink contracts, greedy salesmen and general turn-a-blind-eye abound over there...

What's next? (4, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671261)

After two more rounds of mergers, we'll have two companies left in each area. Each with strict but unwritten agreements not to compete in each others' areas. It's the same way Comcast/Time Warner do business in the Cable TV industry right now, anyways.

I predict (3, Funny)

beegle (9689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671268)

...that eventually, all of the US telecom companies will merge back into one. That single, surviving company will be known as "The Bell System" or, colloquially as "Ma Bell".

You heard it here first.

Question (2, Insightful)

KoriaDesevis (781774) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671270)

Verizon is what used to be GTE and Bell Atlantic. With MCI in the fold, does this allow them to be a national phone company that can be a local carrier coast to coast, like Bell used to be in the 70's? I am suspecting not, but it's worth asking.

I know MCI is not a local phone company (at least they weren't when I had them as my long distance carrier), but that would make Verizon huge (even more so than they are now).

Re:Question (1)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671389)

I know MCI is not a local phone company (at least they weren't when I had them as my long distance carrier), but that would make Verizon huge (even more so than they are now).

MCI is more than just a "phone" company... they own a major chunk of the internet backbone. Nobody pays $6.7B for a midsized phone company. I wonder if Verizon really cares about the long distance phone company aspect? What they are after are the massive pipes over which they can now send data at less cost, and now charge others to do the same.

Re:Question (1)

KoriaDesevis (781774) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671526)

they own a major chunk of the internet backbone.

I had forgotten about this aspect of MCI... I forgot they essentially picked up UUNET a while back. Thanks for the reminder.

Re:Question (1)

DaFork (608023) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671498)

Verizon has a wireless and local.
MCI has long distance and business data (T1, OC3's, DSL, POPs).

MCI has local service now (The Neighborhood) that is implemented by leasing the local lines from the local carriers (like Verizon and SBC). The line costs are becoming very expensive (partially due to expiring regulation that limits the wholesale prices of these lines). It was already predicted that companies like MCI that lease local lines to provide a "choice" in local service will be forced to abandon it due to rising costs.

This merger does not affect Verizon's local markets (MCI has either none or very few). What it does do is allow Verizon to package plans that include local, long distance, and wireless to consumers. This merger also allows Verizon's small business and corporate customers to package MCI's data services like Internet access, managed WAN/LAN, and VPNs with their phone services.

What's next? (5, Funny)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671274)

What's next?!? The same thing we do every night, Pinky. try to Take OVer THE WORLD!

Re:What's next? (1)

Raypeso (851771) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671313)

ha ha! If I had mod points, I'd give them to you!

ok, now that you all have a dance partner... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671294)

it's time for the telecom ho-down.... ... er wait... don't we need 4 couples for a square dance?

Oh good... (1, Redundant)

TOWebstress (855727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671296)

More people get subjected to that stuff that Verizon refers to as "customer service."

Attn: MCI customers, carve out a few hours to sit on hold should you require assistance. Then expect the run-around. Repeat ad nauseum.

Re:Oh good... (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671515)

What, Like MCI/UUNET has/had good customer service? I feel ashamed that I worked for 7 years for those thieves. My only wish is that my friends that still work for them manage to land on their feet after the inevitable bloodletting.

BTW, When I had my throat slit 2 years ago, I know several systems lost the only people that knew how they worked. When they broke, there was no one around that knew what to do.

The good news is that I have a much better job now working for a non-profit. Make a little less money, but the work is much more rewarding.

Breakin' up is hard on you (2, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671312)

I beg of you, don't say goodbye!
Don't wanna use no MCI!
Reach out and touch some other fool,
'Cause breakin' up is hard on you!

They say that breakin' up was hard to do,
When Carly put the screws to you,
Spun off Lucent and then,
Includin' breakin' up she also buggered HPQ and then...

AT&T gave back the phone!
And now we'll lease, no more to own,
Reach out and touch some other fool,
'Cause breakin' up was hard on you.

(With apologies to the original 1984 Breakin' up is hard on you parody from the American Comedy Network.)

Re:Breakin' up is hard on you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671350)

Anyone got an MP3 of the original? link [bellsystemmemorial.com] is dead.

The deal is goin' down, shoobee-doo-down-down!
The rates are goin' up, uppee-up-up-up!

Why this matters for SPAM... (5, Interesting)

jaylee7877 (665673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671315)

MCI is currently the largest ISP allowing (and some consider supporting) spammers to use their bandwidth. Verizon is currently one of the most aggressive anti-spam ISPs. Some have argued they've gone to far blocking legit messages often but most of their users are happy about the spam control. How these two will mesh may be a very interesting chapter in the war on Spam.

It Lives!! It Lives!!! IT LIVESSSS!!! (1)

visionsofmcskill (556169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671317)

Pac bell aquires SBC who aquires ATT who aquires cingular who aquires Sprint who aquires nextel who aquires Verizon who aquires MCI who aquires vonage.

Bell labs quires pac bell.

Ma Bell rises like the phoenix from the ashes to dominion all feeble earthly communications

Skynet is brought online.

Anti-Monopoly Trust Busters Break up Ma Bell into baby bells

Lather
Wash
Rinse
Repeat

Mua ha ha ha hh ah aha ha a ha ha aha hha ha ah

Re:It Lives!! It Lives!!! IT LIVESSSS!!! (1)

big-giant-head (148077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671453)

I believe SBC already owns Pac Bell ????

McGowan is spinning (1)

fragzilla (646057) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671332)

To review....MCI broke up the bell monopoly. Later, MCI is "bought" by Worldcon during the internet bubble. Verizon (spawned from the Bell breakup) now buys MCI. The circle is complete and McGowan is spinning in his grave.

Why? (1, Insightful)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671342)

Why would a board approve a purchase for less money than a competing offer?

Under-the-table payments to board members is the only plausible reason that comes to mind. Are there other explanations?

Whatever the explanation is, I have a hard time seeing how "increasing shareholder value" comes in to it...

Re:Why? (1)

fragzilla (646057) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671399)

Uhh...could be MCI got burned in a similar scenario a few years ago. MCI was going to merge with BT. Then Worldcon showed up with their carpet bag and a larger offer. BT was pushed away and the rest is bankruptcy history. Verizon & MCI is a much better mix than MCI & Qwest.

Re:Why? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671415)

Maybe because Verizon agreed to cleanup the mess left behind by the massive fraud perpetrated by MCI when it was named WorldCom? Taking on that liability and handing each MCI exec a "get out of jail free" card is worth far more than stock shares...

Re:Why? (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671449)

One company is more stable than the other. They may be concerned about the long-term and the best interest of their shares in the newly-formed company.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671485)

Why would a board approve a purchase for less money than a competing offer? Under-the-table payments to board members is the only plausible reason that comes to mind. Are there other explanations? Whatever the explanation is, I have a hard time seeing how "increasing shareholder value" comes in to it...

One of the things they look at is their own security; is the new company going to purge the board and replace them? Another is what they plan to do with the company; are they going to gut it and sell off the parts, making your options worthless? There's a lot more to a deal than just stock price. Maybe the board just doesn't like the attitude of the higher bidder. Money isn't *always* everything.

Re:Why? (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671510)

Qwest is on shaky financial ground. Verizon is not. In a mostly stock deal, one needs to think about future value, especially if one is a large, institutional investor.

good ol' Ma bell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671351)

The borg is coming back together. And we all know Bush surely won't do anything to stop it. One can only hope they can't screw us too bad in the next 3 years, and then maybe we get an administration change who will do something. Although, both parties are so easily purchased I doubt anything will change.

MCI aka WORLDCON (0, Flamebait)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671367)

and no, that is not a typo

Re:MCI aka WORLDCON (1)

Daedala (819156) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671567)

Worldcon is trademarked by the World Science Fiction Society. [worldcon.org] They were really not thrilled with the "Worldcon" headlines. The Worldcon Mark Protection Committee is going to get you!

I can see it now... (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671369)

In the Making/Happening: Sprint buying out Nextel SBC buying out AT&T Verizon to aquire MCI Cingular buys our At&t Wireless in other news: Comcast buys out Cox Cable, Cable One and RoadRunner, while AOL files bankruptcy. DirectTV and Dish Network Merge while ESPN seeks to buy out the merge. BellSouth closes shop and Verizon and Nextel Merge. EA sweeps the floor with Ubisoft and buys out Sony and Nintendo. EA & Microsoft go head to head in court over rights and patents. Lawyers get rich. Customers get screwed.

Can the spammers on MCI (2, Interesting)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671379)

So, what's next for the telecom industry?

How about we give the spammers the boot? [slashdot.org]

What's Next (1)

stalky14 (574130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671382)

They merge twice more, call themselves AT&T and we start all over again.

Marx may have been wrong about communism, but he seems to have been dead-on about capitalism.

...Sean.

Next step (5, Funny)

srhuston (161786) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671392)

Well, now that a few of them have merged, they'll probably stabilize for a little while, and then start buying each other up again. Pretty soon, we'll be down to one company providing phone service.

Hey, wasn't there talk of TV over phone too? Maybe once all the companies merge, they could call themselves... American Telephone and Television? Or just AT&T for short. That has a nice ring to it. Ring! That's it, they can use a bell as their company logo! People can buy stock in it, and refer to "My Bell" phone company.

Next (1)

Deinesh (770292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671405)

>>So, what's next for the telecom industry?
The electric utilities start selling broadband over electric lines. Joe sixpack discovers voip. Media company's start bypassing the cable networks and sell thieir products directly to the customer over broadband (The rest of us use bittorent :D ).

The telecom industry dies off.

Ultimately, it comes down this:
Q. How many wires do you ABSOLUTELY need running to your house?
A. For most people it is one - electricity.

What's next? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671417)

So, what's next for the telecom industry?

Panic. Followed by voip regulations by "our" "elected" representatives, which effectively will make more and more of us law breakers.

Let's ask the "black box". (1)

reporter (666905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671430)

" So what's next for the telecom industry? "

Well, let's ask the black box that supposedly generates random numbers to predict the future [slashdot.org] . I kid you not. Two days ago, Slashdot offered a serious news article about some scientists believing that a random number generator can predict the future [slashdot.org] . If the current merger of Verizon and MCI will cause a calamity in the American economy, the black box should be able to tell us.

(Tongue FIRMLY PLANTED in cheek.)

Re:Let's ask the "black box". (2, Interesting)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671460)

In the case a better predictor of the future is to look at past performance; the past performance of Michael Capellas. This guy turned Compaq around and sold it. He turned MCI around and sold it. Michael's the reliable predictor here, not the random number generator.

What's next? (0, Troll)

jpsst34 (582349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671452)

So, what's next for the telecom industry?

Um, perhaps Verizon acquires Adam and Eve [adameve.com] so that they can have enough dildoes and butt-plugs to shove up each and every one of our asses now that we'll all be bending over some time very soon.

re-monopolization (0, Redundant)

plimsoll (247070) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671463)

"So, what's next for the telecom industry?"

They'll merge back into Ma Bell [wikipedia.org] .

what's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671469)

another lawsuit. check your merger history, but choosing a less lucrative offer practically ensures that some stockholder(s) and their lawyer will sue to try to get more money.

What's next? (1)

meme_police (645420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671491)

Eventual consolidation back into one monopoly. I swear eventually we're going to have one telecom company, one bank, one insurance company, one supermarket, etc.

Re:What's next? (1)

Jedi Holocron (225191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671562)

Welcome to Planet Disney and thank you for dinning at Planet Holywood...

Figures... (4, Informative)

hollismb (817357) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671493)

The simple fact is, that long distance companies are a dying breed. Sure, plenty of people still have long distance, but more and more people are getting wise to the fact that you can simply use your cellphone to make a long distance call. Of course these companies are going to get bought out while they're still profitable. This coming off the heels of a year when wireless surpassed wireline in terms of customer base, and during a year when it's predicted the wireless minute usage will surpass wired minute useage.

We don't care. We don't have to. (2, Funny)

Qbans (470478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671514)

Is it actually coming back to this? [jt.org]


Although funny, I guess their was some truth to it. But the real question comes to whether this is good for the telecom industry or not. I guess so in ways, but I think that only time will tell. It is kind of sad to see what used to be the biggest names in telecom bought out, and possibly destroyed, especailly stuff like this. [slashdot.org]

That's no moon... (3, Funny)

TheLoneGundam (615596) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671522)

The DeathStar was broken up into little pieces, but apparently the dark side of the Force is bringing them back together. Admiral Vonage and General Skype will lead the rebel alliance Help us, Obi-For-Wan-Wan, you're our only hope!

What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11671548)

If there's any mercy in this world, they'll start buying airlines next.

An Observation (1)

eseiat (650560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11671587)

I find it quite interesting that all of these mergers seem to involve one company that has a reputation primarily, although not exclusively, for being a cellular provider and the other being a land-line/long distance carrier. After these three mega-corps control all the air and land telecommunications what is next for them?

This all reminds me of the cable company and internet company mergers of the past few years as well. Why the sudden influx of mega-mergers over the past few years? Are these actually "good business" decisions or are they attempts to salvage the future of corps that feel the end might be near for them? I can't help but worry about the legitimacy of these deals as most of these companies have been bitter rivals for so long. It all just seems a bit too chummy for my taste. (Puts on tin-foil hat)

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