AT&T execs reportedly ponder company split


Associated Press

NEW YORK – Analysts were divided today over whether AT&T Corp., the nation’s largest long-distance telephone and cable TV provider, will break itself into four freestanding companies.

The plan, dubbed Project Grand Slam, was reportedly under discussion today by company board members. A company spokeswoman declined comment on the reports, in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, but analysts who follow AT&T said some major change was imminent.

“I expect AT&T to announce something big on Wednesday and I hope that they go through with, yes, Project Grand Slam,” said Patrick Comack of Guzman &Co.

Others said AT&T was more likely to separate its consumer long-distance division from the rest of its business.

“That’s the most likely scenario,” said Drake Johnstone of Davenport &Co. “There are possibilities they may consider something more dramatic, but I wouldn’t put a high probability on that right now.”

The proposed plan would be the second time the company has been broken up since the federal government supervised the breakup of the Bell system in 1984. AT&T spun off Lucent Technologies and its NCR computer unit in 1996.

Rumors have swirled for several weeks about the future of AT&T, whose stock price has languished as the company struggles under the demands of a sweeping overhaul. Its market value has dropped by about $70 billion since January, partly because of falling prices in the long-distance industry.

Under the split-into-four proposal, AT&T’s wireless and cable TV operations would become separate companies over the next one to two years. The company’s more than 60 million telephone users would not feel much immediate impact from the plan.

The separate companies reportedly would specialize in business services, wireless, consumer long-distance, and “broadband” delivery of TV, Internet and phone services over cable lines.

The companies would be able to concentrate on their own strategies and grow more quickly. The largest and most profitable unit, Business Services, would become the new AT&T and would create brand-licensing and commercial agreements with the three other businesses.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

Panelists from different areas of mental health care speak at the Herald Forum about mental health care on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At panel, mental health experts brainstorm answers to staff shortages

Workforce shortages, insurance coverage and crisis response were in focus at the Snohomish forum hosted by The Daily Herald.

Police: Marysville man fist-bumped cop, exposing tattoos of wanted robber

The suspect told police he robbed three stores to pay off a drug debt. He’d just been released from federal prison for another armed robbery.

Most Read