The finally approved merger of SBC and AT&T sounds as if it will create a blockbuster company, but there are signs that it's only creating a dinosaur whose time isn't long for this world. The latest sign: SBC CFO Rick Lindner told the Reuters news agency his company had nothing to fear from VoIP providers, and that his company will become the WalMart of Big Telecom.
Lindner told Reuters, that when it comes to VoIP providers like Skype, "I don't see it as a significant threat. The fears of what may happen there are overblown."
Lindner also argued that only a few "techies" would "scour the Internet and buy applications and services from a number of different providers," but the rest of the world will prefer one-stop shopping from a telco bememoth.
"Why has WalMart been successful in areas like groceries?" he asked. "It's because its convenient for people to go to one location and buy everything," he said.
Earth to Lindner: The days of Big Telecom being able to force people to buy telecommunications services from a single, big provider are long gone. They ended when the feds broke up Ma Bell. You may own AT&T, but it's no longer a monopoly. Something called competition hit the telecommunications industry years ago.
Unless Lindner and other SBC execs recognize that, the SBC-AT&T merger will be the last gasp of a dying dinosaur, the end of arrogant Big Telecom.