Readers Respond: Just Say No to AT&T-BellSouth

Readers respond to the eWEEK editorial, "Just Say No to AT&T-BellSouth."

In regard to David Morgensterns editorial on the merger between AT&T and BellSouth, I must agree and disagree ("Just Say No to AT&T-BellSouth," March 20).

Yes, we must be concerned about monopolies in todays business climate. However, before the breakup of Ma Bell in the 80s, I was paying only $8.50 for 50 phone calls (not minutes), with no other fees or government taxes. The governments interfering in all business by (illegally) applying the interstate commerce clause has not benefited the public. It has made things worse.

George Marshall

I dont care what you say—I have more choices today when it comes to communicating than I ever did. … I think the much bigger issue is keeping our government out of the picture and never letting it add any further taxation on access or use of the Internet. Let the consumer decide.

Jeff Ruetten
Litigation Technology Support

I would like to see some expansion about involvement of the lobbyists/corporate interests with the regulators.

Bob Kruell

I wanted to respond to David Morgensterns March 20 opinion piece, "No to AT&T-BellSouth" (Our View).

The telecom industry is nothing like it was when the government broke AT&T into little pieces. Before the breakup, AT&T was locked out of certain industries (like selling computers) and guaranteed a profit based on revenues and rate increases tied to expenses. Today, the industry is nothing like it was then.

Regional Bell companies dont really compete, since they are primarily facilities-based and the locations of their facilities are mutually exclusive. And, in the areas in which they do compete—say, long distance or data services—they are not the only game in town.

Letting AT&T merge with BellSouth wont send the telecom industry back to the way it was prebreakup, but it will allow economies of scale to kick in and give the combined company the ability to offer end-to-end service in a larger area.

Ken Hansen
Pennington, N.J.