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OK of Telesis Deal Opens Door for Risk-Free Growth Paid by Public

March 16, 1986

The interests of the public are not well served by U.S. District Judge Harold Greene's decision to let Pacific Telesis purchase Communications Industries as reported in the Feb. 27 Business section.

Revenues for the $429-million purchase price come from the 22.9 million Pacific Telesis customers--revenues guaranteed by the government-granted local phone monopoly as part of the AT&T break-up.

I believe that the intent of the AT&T break-up was to separate local from long-distance phone service for better allocation of costs and, hopefully, long-term benefits to society. (To date, however, short-term benefits have been a disaster as local phone customers have seen their monthly bills rise dramatically with only small offsetting long-distance cost reductions.)

And now we see the same federal judge who championed the AT&T break-up permit a regional phone monopoly to compete against other firms who operate with all the risks of the marketplace. It is simply unfair, and not in keeping with the spirit of the original AT&T break-up plans.

Pacific Telesis competitors can fail, but Pacific Telesis cannot because of its monopoly-guaranteed revenues. If such ventures continue, eventually the regional phone monopolies will own all the nation's communications. And instead of one AT&T as in the past, we'll have the equivalent of seven AT&T monopolies, with the public paying the higher bill because of reduced efficiencies of seven companies instead of one.

In this regard, give me the good old days of one AT&T.

GARTH W. BISHOP

Publisher, Camaro Publishing Co.

Los Angeles

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