Table: Who's Next?
Comcast's $41 billion bid for AT&T's cable TV unit could set off a global scramble to consolidate. With telecom companies straining under huge debt loads and cable operators scurrying to reposition, here's what's on the table:
AT&T's low stock price makes long distance vulnerable to takeover by the Bells once regulators grant more access. Global Crossing could snatch up its business-services unit.
BRITISH TELECOM may have to part with its Ignite broadband network in Europe. Potential buyers: U.S. Baby Bells.
CABLEVISION, the No. 7 player, might get snatched up by AOL Time Warner to build operations in New York and Boston.
COX COMMUNICATIONS, the No. 5 player, could combine with stronger rival, Charter Communications No. 4, to create a powerhouse in California, Georgia and elsewhere.
DEUTSCHE TELEKOM will likely sell shares in its wireless unit and unload its remaining cable assets to raise cash.
WORLDCOM is also vulnerable to takeover. Its Internet backbone would fit well with a local-phone giant.