AT&T + BellSouth by the Numbers
March 15, 2006
AT&T’s planned $67 billion purchase of BellSouth would be one of the biggest mergers in U.S. telecom history, and the largest globally since Vodafone succeeded with a hostile takeover of Mannesmann in 2000 (see Figure 1 below).
However, despite the size of the merger, statistics compiled each quarter in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database show that the combined companies would still rank behind several global rivals in subscribers and revenue.
While the new AT&T would become the largest operator in the U.S. by customers in each of the country’s wireline, wireless, and broadband markets, on a global scale it would rank behind several others. Among wireline operators, it would be the third largest behind China Telecom and China Netcom. It would be only the ninth largest wireless operator behind multinational groups such as Vodafone. Though in second place as a broadband operator, the new AT&T would have only one-third of the broadband subscriber base of China Telecom. Further, in terms of revenue, the new AT&T ($69.4 billion in 2005) would still have some way to go before overtaking Japanese giant NTT ($99.9 billion).
Figure 1: Biggest Telecom Deals Each Year since 1998
|| $67.0 bn
|| AT&T bids for BellSouth
|| $31.5 bn
|| Telefonica buys O2
|| $41.0 bn
|| Cingular purchases AT&T Wireless
|| $29.2 bn
|| Comcast buys AT&T Broadband
|| $30.0 bn
|| Deutsche Telekom buys VoiceStream/Powertel
|| $183.0 bn
|| Vodafone buys Mannesmann
|| $65.0 bn
|| Olivetti takes control of Telecom Italia
|| $52.0 bn
|| GTE and Bell Atlantic merge to create Verizon
This information is drawn from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database service, which provides continually updated coverage of more than 1,000 telecom operators in over 160 countries worldwide. To learn more, please visit our website: