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The SBC/Ameritech merger

Conduct some background research on SBC.
Specifically. Research, compare, and explain the similarities and differences of the breakup of the AT&T/Bell System antitrust problems that occurred in the 1980s to the recently similar problems with SBC/Ameritech.

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SBC/Ameritech antitrust problems:
SBC has filed an application for long distance entry in Texas that shows substantial progress in the development of local competition in that state. In sharp contrast to its earlier application for Oklahoma, which failed to meet even the threshold requirements of section 271,this application demonstrates that the ground rules for competition have been largely established, that SBC has implemented most of the operational details of providing access and interconnection to its competitors and that numerous carriers are beginning to compete in offering a wide range of services. This progress reflects well on SBC, which has devoted substantial resources towards implementation of the requirements of the Telecommunications Act, and on the Texas Public Utility Commission ("Texas PUC") and its staff, which has worked tirelessly to create an environment in which competition may emerge.
This Evaluation by the Department of Justice principally focuses on SBC's actual commercial performance in providing access and interconnection. In a great many respects, despite some continuing start-up problems, that performance appears to be adequate. In the critical area of providing unbundled loops for advanced services, however, SBC's application is clearly deficient. In this proceeding, the Federal Communications Commission ("Commission") must decide concretely how it will interpret and apply the requirements of section 271 to provide access to such unbundled loops. It is very important for the Commission to ensure that SBC satisfies those requirements, for a failure to do so will seriously retard the deployment of such services and competition in their provision. SBC has not demonstrated that it is providing non-discriminatory treatment to competitors offering xDSL services, or that its planned (but not implemented) use of a separate affiliate to provide such services will address this shortcoming. The Commission should deny SBC's application because of its deficiencies in this area.
There are other shortcomings in this application. In its recent decision approving Bell Atlantic's section 271 application for New York, the Commission found Bell Atlantic's performance in providing "hot cuts" of unbundled loops to be "minimally acceptable." As best we can determine, SBC's performance in this area falls short of that "minimally acceptable" level. Because of SBC's deficient performance, carriers seeking to use unbundled loops are constrained, and the market is not fully open to competition.
Finally, the record leaves considerable doubt about whether SBC can provide interconnection trunks in a timely manner, and whether carriers will be able to compete effectively using the UNE-platform. A careful analysis of additional commercial experience, through the entirety of the current quarter, will provide valuable evidence of whether recently implemented measures have successfully resolved problems in these areas, and whether SBC's wholesale support systems will function adequately as the volume of CLEC activity increases. Because of the limitations of time and information, and because of the critical need to protect the fairness and efficacy of the Commission's process for reviewing section 271 applications, a review of this additional experience should not be attempted in connection with the current application. But since this application should be denied in any event because of the deficiencies relating to DSL and hot cut loops, we recommend that the Commission defer judgment on interconnection and UNE-platform issues until a subsequent re-application, when it will have the benefit of evidence reflecting additional commercial experience
Mergers are an efficient response to the expansion of free trade and spread of market institutions worldwide following the collapse of communism. In the U.S., deregulation of domestic public utilities has created new national markets where only strictly regulated regional markets existed previously. And new technologies such as the Internet are ...

Solution Summary

This job explains the similarities and differences of the breakup of the AT&T/Bell System in the 1980s to the recently similar problems with SBC/Ameritech.