LONDON — British Telecommunications, under pressure to regain market share at home and revive its stock, is considering selling itself, possibly to AT&T Corp., a person close to the situation said Friday.
Sir Peter Bonfield, BT's chief executive, has discussed a possible merger with AT&T Chairman Michael Armstrong, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier. The person said the contacts might not lead to serious merger negotiations.
Both companies are struggling against rivals that have merged and grown in size. Vodafone Group bought Mannesmann earlier this year for $168 billion to become the world's largest mobile phone company. AT&T is working to make its $100 billion in cable television acquisitions in the last two years pay off as it contends with wireless competitors such as Sprint Corp.
"I don't see power in the merger between them," said Lionel Heurtin, who helps manage $571 million in equities at State Street Global Advisors in Paris. "BT should look at a more proactive company with a youthful image."
BT spokesman Simon Gordon and AT&T's European spokesman, Phil Coathup, declined comment.
AT&T shares closed up 13 cents at $32.38, while British Telecom's American depositary receipts rose $4.94 to close at $128.50, both on the New York Stock Exchange.