AT&T-Comcast merger creates net giant

After months of corporate tire-kicking, AT&T Broadband, the biggest cable company in the United States, has decided to merge with original suitor Comcast.

The $72 billion deal will create a cable powerhouse, with more than 21 million subscribers and access to more than 30 million households. That reach will help the new company take on the local telephone companies with renewed vigor in offering both telephone and high-speed Internet services over cable wires.

But it may also help further confuse the fragmented cable broadband Internet business, in which millions of Excite@Home subscribers are being shunted separately to AT&T Broadband and Comcast. The two companies had separately been building networks to replace Excite@Home's systems.

Whatever the outcome, it will almost certainly cement the new company--to be called AT&T Comcast--at the top of a telecommunications food chain that has seen considerable flux as numerous companies have shuttered or merged.

"This is a leap forward in realizing a vision that thousands of AT&T people have worked toward," said AT&T CEO C. Michael Armstrong in a statement released late Wednesday. "AT&T Broadband and Comcast can accomplish more together than we could alone."

News source: C|Net

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