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AT&T and BellSouth: Cingularly at Odds

Posted by: Olga Kharif on November 22, 2005

USA Today reports that now that SBC has completed its acquisition of AT&T, it will resell Cingular Wireless’s service under AT&T brand (remember, Cingular acquired AT&T Wireless a while back). This resale deal begs the question: What’s BellSouth going to do?

SBC owns 60% of Cingular, while BellSouth owns 40%. The two companies could have resold Cingular wireless service under their own brands before, but they didn’t. Now, that’s about to change. And the USA Today article quotes CEO of the new AT&T (that is, AT&T merged with SBC) as saying the relationship between the two companies might get a bit strained because of AT&T’s resale plans.

Well, yeah! With technologies such as VoIP now offered by most telcos, SBC and BellSouth are increasingly turning from colleagues into competitors. So BellSouth will now have to respond to AT&T’s resale plans by making a move of its own.

My bet is, BellSouth will have to start reselling Cingular’s wireless under its own brand, too — and soon.

Reader Comments


November 29, 2005 11:32 AM

This alphabet soup is getting hard for consumers to keep track of. The Sprint/Nextel combo is starting to sound better and better.

Paul B. Beatty

December 3, 2005 1:24 PM

Google Go Glossy

Anyone research how many buyers go direct from Business Week to sellers web sites? The power of print plus web is the most powerful marketing tool availble today.


March 6, 2006 12:48 PM

I have never had such a bad business experience as when dealing with AT&T and now it appears that we are stuck with them and their problems for a very long time. If Cingular ends with the AT&T name and service, I shall change companies and make sure all of our company cell phones are moved too.


July 24, 2006 11:49 AM

I will also change my service if this deal goes thru.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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