California approves telephone merger, clearing way for SBC to complete buy of AT&T

Friday, November 18th 2005, 12:51 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ California officials approved SBC Communications Inc.'s $16 billion purchase of AT&T Corp. on Friday, clearing the final regulatory hurdle for the $16 billion deal and opening the way for the historic telephone merger to close immediately.

The California Public Utility Commission's vote came nearly 10 months after AT&T agreed to be acquired by its former subsidiary, follows approvals by two federal agencies, 36 other states and 14 international bodies. SBC originally predicted the entire regulatory process might take almost a year and a half.

San Antonio-based SBC, one of the regional ``Baby Bells'' created by the 1984 breakup of AT&T's national monopoly on local and long-distance phone service, announced last month that it would rename itself AT&T upon completion of the deal.