AT&T, TCI to Merge, Create New
AT&T Consumer Services Unit


This article discusses the merger agreement that was signed between AT&T and Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) with a stock transaction valued at $48 billion. This will help AT&T to combine its current consumer long-distance, wireless and Internet services units with TCI's cable, telecommunications, and high-speed Internet businesses to create a new subsidiary ? AT&T Consumer Services. This merger is going to make the company be traded as a "letter" or "tracking stock" on the New York Stock Exchange and have a significant public ownership. The company also expects earnings from $ 3.35 to $3.45 per share because of the pending merger.
AT&T plans to offer the broadest set of consumer communications services ? including local, long distance, wireless and international communications, cable television, dial-up and high-speed Internet access services ? all using AT&T as the brand name.
?This merger also offers a great TCI's shareowners and employees? said John C. Malone, chairman and CEO of TCI. "As TCI continues the large-scale deployment of advanced digital set-top devices, AT&T's extraordinary brand and resources are ideal complements to TCI's broadband cable distribution and operations. AT&T Consumer Services will offer consumers a wide variety of entertainment, information and communications products, which thoughtfully address personal tastes, needs, choice and convenience."
Once this merger is complete, it's estimated that AT&T cable systems will be used by more than 33 million homes. Also, AT&T is currently the holds AT&T WorldNet services, which offers high speed dial-up access to the internet, and TCI has a big share of @Home net work, the leading provider of high-speed Internet access and content services, which collectively passes over 50 million homes.
AT&T and TCI said that they expect the merger, which is contingent on regulatory and other approvals, to be tax-free to their respective shareholders and to close in the first half of 1999.