Media reports yesterday said SBC Communications Inc. will use the AT&T Corp. name once the companies merger is completed.
Howard Riess, a spokesman for SBC, said today the company has yet to make any announcements on its branding strategy. We value the AT&T brand as well as SBCs; we value the heritage and strength of the AT&T brand, which is one of the most widely recognized and respected names throughout the world and it will certainly be part of the new companys future, Riess told PHONE+. But right now its inappropriate for us to comment on rumor or speculation regarding this matter, and well provide more information on our branding plans at a later date.
Telecom analyst Jeff Kagan says using the AT&T name makes sense, given that it was Americas first national phone company. So while SBC is the name of the acquiring company, it makes sense they would choose to continue the AT&T name, he says. Many of us industry watchers thought it would have been sad to see the AT&T name fade away.
Kagan adds the new AT&T would need to update its image because the company is smaller than ever and serves businesses now. But combined with SBC it will be a very advanced and far-reaching firm in the areas of consumer and business telephone, Internet and wireless services, and as SBC continues its plans, adding television in coming months to compete with the cable television industry, he adds.
Meanwhile, the merger overcame another important hurdle yesterday when the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission put its seal of approval on the transaction. Pennsylvania is the 33rd of 36 states to clear the merger, along with the District of Columbia. The U.S. Department of Justice and the FCC are continuing with their merger reviews.