Friday, January 12, 2007

Another merger...

It's not unlikely to hear about companies changing hands these days. The Mom and Pop businesses are quickly becoming an idea of the past, as owners sellout and corporations buyout. USA Today reported that AT&T will soon be launching its rebranding campaign, as Cingular is a new addition to the conglomerate. The companies have changed names and hands so many times, though, that I can't even keep track.
"Today's AT&T was known as SBC Communications until late 2005, when that regional Bell company acquired its former parent, the AT&T Corp. long-distance business. Several years before that deal, the AT&T long-distance company spun off its cellphone business, AT&T Wireless, as an independent concern. Then, in late 2004, AT&T Wireless was acquired by Cingular, which had no real desire or legal right to adopt a brand still owned by the AT&T long-distance business."

I know that big conglomerate corporations can deliver lower prices for the consumer, but I can't help but feel sorry for the "little guys" trying to make it in the business world. In the media world, there doesn't appear to be many "little guys" left. They can't even compete. Whether it be book publishers, newspapers or cell phone companies, the big dudes rule.

It's not a secret what drives all these mergers. I just hate that money seems to determine so much. Can an ethical decision be based upon the attainment of wealth? In a world where, as the Associated Press calls it, "a confusing dance of brand names" is the norm, I hope that the corporate gurus can think of more than their own pocketbooks.


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