Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

AT T, McCaw Merger Not to Hurt Competition

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

AT T, McCaw Merger Not to Hurt Competition

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter

The recent merger between American Telephone Telegraph Co. and McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. will not weaken state competition in the cellular services industry, McCaw officials said Tuesday.

The merger _ valued at $11.5 billion _ "brings together the largest global network company, AT T, with the largest wireless provider, McCaw," said Bill Malloy, regional vice president and general manager of McCaw Communications in Oklahoma City, a division of McCall Cellular Communications Inc.

"McCaw continues to be a separate business entity with separate officers and financial records. . .and, as a result, our relationship with AT T isn't going to be any different than what it's been in the past relative to other people that deal with AT T. We buy some services from AT T. AT T will continue to sell to other providers," Malloy said.

Competition in the cellular services industry in Oklahoma will remain strong despite accusations calling the merger "anti-consumer" and "anti-competitive," according to Malloy.

Malloy said guidelines set by the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission are sufficient to ensure that competing cellular-services providers are not disadvantaged when purchasing their network equipment from AT T.

"Oklahoma has one of the most competitive cellular environments. . .than in many states we operate in," he said. "We have got a myriad of providers in the state. We're unique in that respect. We've got a lot of good, healthy competition.

"We are the only one that operates in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, western Oklahoma, Lawton and north central Oklahoma," he said. "We provide the largest cellular coverage in the state."

As far as employees are concerned, Malloy said he does not expect the merger to affect those numbers.

"I don't anticipate any changes in terms of employment in the state of Oklahoma" due to the merger, Malloy said. However, the company plans to add employees as the number of customers continues to increase, he said.

Currently, Malloy said the company has about 400 employees in Oklahoma, including its messaging paging and cellular businesses. Most of the employees are located in Oklahoma City, which is the district headquarters for McCaw's cellular operations for Oklahoma, Arkansas, and southwest Missouri, he said.

With the merger, the parent company McCaw Cellular becomes AT T Wireless Services _ a separate entity of AT T that is going to continue to be part of the Cellular One network. …

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