TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: FCC OKs Cingular, AT&T Wireless Merger

FCC OKs Cingular, AT&T Wireless Merger

Monty Solomon (
Tue, 26 Oct 2004 23:49:49 -0400

By BRUCE MEYERSON AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Now that the purchase of AT&T Wireless is complete,
Cingular Wireless' new status as the nation's biggest cell phone
provider may prove fleeting if the merged company doesn't move

The $41 billion deal, finalized Tuesday with Federal Communications
Commission clearance, pairs two companies whose customer service
rankings and operating performance are among the weakest in the

As Cingular's management takes on the sizable distraction of merging
two large corporations, it may prove especially difficult to attack
those issues with any speed.

One top concern has been the pace at which subscribers have been
switching to rivals, especially at AT&T Wireless Services Inc.,
though Cingular's performance in this area has been unimpressive as

Those defections have been fueled in large part by a successful
marketing campaign at Verizon Wireless, which has built a strong
perception as the company with the country's most expansive cell phone

The new Cingular hopes the added network coverage and capacity from
AT&T Wireless will help counter that perception almost from the start.


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