Even after a breakup and a new marriage, Ma Bell’s name is here to
stay. SBC Communications Inc., which expects to close its acquisition
of AT&T this year, said on Thursday that it will adopt the name
AT&T once the deal is finalized. It will be AT&T Inc., however,
rather than AT&T Corp.
Edward E. Whitacre Jr., SBC’s chairman and chief executive officer,
said in a statement that the AT&T brand has unparalleled
recognition around the globe.
At the close of the acquisition, a new logo will be revealed as part of
the largest multimedia advertising and marketing blitz that either
company has ever launched, SBC said.
Industry analysts have been speculating over recent months about
whether SBC would change its name to AT&T or keep its own brand.
Many concluded that choosing AT&T would be a smart decision, given
its widely recognized brand.
AT&T was forced to spin off its local phone business in the 1980s
into a handful of regional companies. Since then, the AT&T brand
has been largely associated with long distance telephone service.
In some parts of the U.S., such as the north-central region, where the
local phone company was bought by SBC, customers with long memories
will have seen the name of their local telephone service change from
AT&T to Ameritech to SBC and now back to AT&T again.
By Nancy Gohring – IDG News Service (Dublin Bureau)