Andrew Orlowski has some fun with the AT&T-Bell South merger:
In a decade, American consumers have seen the number of Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs), or Baby Bells, coalesce from six down to just three: the odd man out, Qwest, the RBOC which covers the sparsely populated Mountain states, is surely next on AT&T’s menu.
The extraordinary thing is that all this took place at a time in the wake of the fall out from the telecoms bubble. The Bells enjoyed little affection from the public in any case, long before Global Crossing and MCI. and with an unpopular Republican President, Democrats can have been expected to push a few populist buttons, and hear some bells.
What actually happened is that Whitacre got everything he wanted, but only thanks to the aid of The Democratic Party, most of whom aren’t aware how thoroughly they’ve been outwitted.
Now that’s style.
It’s certainly an interesting perspective. I’ve observed that AT&T played a game of misdirection last year in a more concrete way. While activists focused on video franchising and net neutrality in Washington, the phone company quietly got statewide franchising from the big state legislatures in California, New Jersey, and Michigan without much fanfare. That’s playing the system.
The fact that states can’t impose net neutrality obligations even if they want to is not small thing, either.