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April 24, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:40pm

DEREGULATION TURNS SOUR FOR AT&T

By CBR Staff Writer

A full 13 years after it happened, the whole telecommunications deregulation thing has turned miserably sour for AT&T Corp, and shedding the prosperous Lucent Technologies Inc manufacturing arm with its world-famous Bell Laboratories Inc, plus NCR Corp, and even the inhouse AT&T Credit Corp bank cruelly exposes the weakness in the fundamental telephone service. Lucent and Credit fed the bottom line and NCR was a useful excuse for the figures not being better. But now, bad figures are down to poor performance of what used to be Long Lines, the drain caused by continued investment in cellular, and unwise and half-hearted international adventures. Over the next couple of years, AT&T is going to have to devote so much attention to getting its affairs at home in order that it’s hard to understand why any ambitious national phone company would want it as an international partner. Given its record, acquisition is out of the question, but perhaps it should simply hand over all its international operations to Cable & Wireless Plc to manage in return for a strategic minority stake in the UK company.

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