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Whitacre: creating a strong north American player
01 December 1999
SBC Communications, the second largest local phone company in the US, has just received permission from the FCC to complete its merger with fellow RBOC Ameritech. It hopes to gain long-distance approval next year. SBC chairman and CEO Edward Whitacre talks to Mark Holmes about the operator's ambitions
The Texas-based Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC), SBC
Communications, is the second largest local telco in the US, with
38 million access lines, equivalent to 20% of the market. This
figure will rise to 32%, once its planned merger closes. In May
1998, SBC had announced that it was to merge with fellow RBOC
Ameritech in a merger worth $62 billion. The merger will enable SBC
to expand beyond its 13 state territory and become a national
player in the US.
SBC has a proven track record of merger integration. The operator
is already deriving faster than expected synergies from its merger
with Pacific Bell. Tom Aust, telecoms analyst at Chase Securities,
believes that this merger was the catalyst for ensuing
consolidation in the US: "It was smart of them to recognize the
opportunity in PacBel when they did. This was a very important and
far-sighted merger. It changed the industry. It was the harbinger
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