|December 21, 2001|
Local impact of AT&T-Comcast merger looks minimal, analyst says2001-12-21
By Sonya Colberg
The local impact from the cable merger of AT&T and Comcast Corp. appears to be insignificant, analyst Rod Woodward with Frost & Sullivan in San Antonio said Thursday.
Woodward said Cox Communications -- the nation's No. 5 cable operator -- is the major cable provider in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
One chief advantage to the new AT&T Comcast is that it will hold much more procurement power when it negotiates for content with providers like Disney, TBS or CNN, for example. Also, the company could benefit from its size when making future equipment purchases, he said.
"Who wouldn't want to be a vendor for AT&T Comcast? They're going to be able to extract some deeper discounts just because they're bigger," Woodward said. "The more you buy, the more the companies will be inclined to give you discounts."
Professor Nicholas Economides with the Stern School of Business in New York said the acquisition is leading what will likely be a trend in the industry.
"I think there is going to be a lot of consolidation in the industry in general," he said. "It's very possible companies might need to consolidate in order to compete more effectively. "
Economides said the chief advantage for consumers is the possibility of more services such as the ability to make phone calls through cable connections and the Internet, as well as additional high-speed broadband Internet access.