In Business This Week
WHAT'S NEXT? PHONE AND TV ON ONE BILL?
Southwestern Bell jumped headfirst into video services, agreeing to pay Hauser Communications $650 million for cable-TV operations in suburban Washington, D. C. The deal, which requires government approval, would make Southwestern the first Baby Bell to buy a U. S. cable system. Analysts expect more deals to follow. The law restricting phone companies from buying TV systems in their own service areas may die soon, as the industry lines blur. Cable companies are itching to get into the phone business, too. Southwestern Bell, which operates cellular-phone service in the Washington area, may combine its cellular and cable properties to provide a cheaper pocket-phone service called personal communications.EDITED BY KEITH HAMMONDS