AT&T’s Biggest Problems Aren’t Emboldened Rivals, Chief Says – NYTimes.com

With two potential mergers that could strengthen long-lagging competitors — AT&T is under pressure to respond.

Earlier this week, the telecom giant set aside $14 billion to overhaul its networks, including an upgrade to the latest cellphone data standard.

But the company’s chief, Randall Stephenson, contends that a newly emboldened Sprint Nextel, which recently struck a major deal with SoftBank, didn’t prompt the move. Rather, it was motivated by AT&T’s failed $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA.

He faces other worries, too. Mr. Stephenson argued that the uncertainty over the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and the potential reduction in government spending that could stem from automatic budget cuts set for year-end— was a bigger threat to his business and his customers.

via AT&T’s Biggest Problems Aren’t Emboldened Rivals, Chief Says – NYTimes.com.

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