Verizon's Big Bet Starts to Pay Off

Fourth-quarter results vindicate CEO Seidenberg's efforts to transform the telco into a multichannel delivery service

Under Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon Communications (VZ) is trying to reposition itself as a provider of premium communications services—depending less on the meat-and-potatoes phone company fare of decades past. To that end, Seidenberg is pushing ahead with a plan to spend $18 billion to build a network capable of delivering not just telephony but also Internet access and a gamut of TV and video. Bigger rival AT&T (T) is upgrading its network too, but spending far less—$4.6 billion—to get it done.

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