AT&T proposed $37.3 billion purchase of Tele-Communications Inc left Wall Street in a spin last week and analysts were made even dizzier by the news that Ma Bell has agreed to pay $1.75 billion recompense if the deal falls through.
The marriage of technologies is far from assured and planned costs are huge. The price to convert networks to a two lane freeway that carries data, voice and video over TCI's coaxial-cables is estimated at a cool $1.3 billion. Add installation and maintenance costs and US pundits say AT&T is facing a $5 billion bill over four or five years, and that is for a mere fraction of TCI's lines.
AT&T's shares have been jittery, dropping ever since the announcement, and briefings are doing little to steady investors' nerves.
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