So SBC - newly re-named AT&T - has bought BellSouth for $84B. While certainly not a shocker, I am a little surprised at how fast it happened, given that SBC is still in the re-branding campaign it launched after closing the acquisition of AT&T last fall. Wayne Watts, SBC's primary M&A guy, has now done something like $150B in transactions in the last two years - way to go, Wayne!
While there will be lots of handwringing by consumer advocates in the months ahead over this deal, there's no question it will meet with regulatory approval. AT&T and BLS don't have a lot of overlapping markets, and in the primary growth engine - Cingular - there is obviously no overlap. Plus, those guys in San Antonio are hardly neophytes or shrinking violets in getting deals like this through the sausage-making approval process at Justice and the FCC.
Most amusing to me is that the Cingular name will be gone, reborn as AT&T Wireless (this news comes less than 15 months after Cingular finished rebranding all of the AT&T Wireless stores). And here I thought that entry on my resume was going to fade into oblivion!