SBC/AT&T Merger Receives Clearance from U.S. Department of Justice
SAN ANTONIO, Texas and BEDMINSTER, New Jersey - The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has cleared the merger of SBC Communications Inc. and ATandT after a review of the merger's potential impact on the market, requiring that the combined company permit competitors access to facilities in certain specified commercial buildings across the SBC 13-state region.
SBC and ATandT have agreed to provide access to certain buildings in SBC's operating territory where ATandT has fiber and the two companies are the only providers with facilities serving those buildings. The Department of Justice found no other competitive concerns that would warrant seeking to preclude the merger from being completed.
Since the two companies announced plans to merge in January, approvals have been received from 33 of 36 states with clearance processes and from the District of Columbia.
Reviews are pending with the Federal Communications Commission and in Arizona, California and Ohio.
The companies expect that the approval process will be completed this fall and that the merger will close later this year. Until that time, SBC and ATandT will operate as separate and independent companies and continue to serve their respective customers.
SBC Communications Inc. will adopt ATandT, Inc. as its name following completion of its acquisition of ATandT.
At close, the new company will unveil a fresh, new logo. After completion of the merger, the transition to the new brand will be promoted with a multimedia advertising and marketing campaign, as well as through other promotional initiatives. At close, the company will also announce the stock market ticker symbol it intends to use.
The brand transition will begin immediately upon merger close, along with the integration of networks, product and service portfolios, and customer care systems. The new brand will be incorporated into product and service offerings, and will appear on bills and correspondence, as well as on company buildings.
SBC local service and broadband capabilities - 50.2 million access lines and 6.5 million DSL lines in service - and the ATandT global IP backbone network and software infrastructure will give the new company IP assets in the marketplace. In addition, SBC companies offer nationwide wireless coverage through Cingular Wireless, which has more than 52.3 million subscribers across the country. SBC owns 60 percent of Cingular.