Up Front: Name Games
OH, YOU MEAN THAT TCI IN DENVER
What's in a name? A lot of aggravation, if it's TCI. Being mistaken for Denver-based cable colossus Tele-Communications Inc. has plagued Transaction Communications Inc. in Herndon, Va. The much smaller TCI provides the electronic link that merchants and banks use to O.K. credit-card purchases. The cable giant has long sparked controversy in dhe telecom world. That goes double since its proposed merger with Bell Atlantic.
A typical hassle for credit-checker TCI: A Baby Bell's curt denial of its plea for expedited service. Says CEO Jack McDonnell, the Baby Bell asked: "Why should we help you? You're the enemy." Finally, McDonnell had enough and changed his company's name to Transaction Network Services Inc.
There's yet another TCI: Dallas-based Transcontinental Realty Investors, whose stock-ticker symbol is TCI. But the Dallas company isn't planning to change its name. Its stock spiked up right after news of the Bell Atlantic merger.