If the WorldCom-MCI deal goes through, other phone companies will likely be hustling to shore up their defenses and find partners to reposition their businesses.
AT&T The No.1 long-distance carrier has not yet found a new CEO to replace Bob Allen. Whoever is chosen must deal with falling market share, price wars, and an unformed local-calling strategy. This could put pressure on AT&T to make a buy. GTE would give it a local strategy.
BRITISH TELECOM Without MCI, BT has no U.S. presence. It can either forget world dominance and focus on Europe or come up with a new U.S. partner--AT&T, perhaps? Conceivably, the transatlantic phone partnership with MCI, known as Concert, could survive the WorldCom-MCI deal.
GTE The nation's second-largest local company has only 1.3 million long-distance customers nationwide and is hitting setbacks in its efforts to expand overseas. It needs a partner in one area or the other--BT or Sprint?
BABY BELLS A year and a half after telecom deregulation, they are still focused on defending local markets. Some, like Ameritech and Bell South, are pushing regulators to let them into long distance. Now, the Bells have to rethink their futures as WorldCom gets ready to skim their best customers. All five could use a long-distance and/or international partner.
SPRINT Well-positioned in long distance, local calling, and wireless, Sprint has two big international partners, France Telecom and Deutsch Telekom. Does that make Sprint the perfect takeover candidate for a Baby Bell?
Updated Oct. 2, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.