In a move that has stunned corporate America – newly re-branded AT&T has announced that it is to purchase Google. The price paid has not yet been released but it is anticipated to be in the hundreds of billions making this one of the largest deals ever in US corporate history.
In a statement released early this morning Irish time, Edward Whitacre, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T said:
Itâ€™s a very good deal for AT&T. The price is good, and synergies make sense. It is good news for employees as well as shareholders of both companies. Such a merger creates a strong U.S. competitor in the global telecom marketplace with the resources to substantially advance the rollout of high-speed broadband and other services and drive economic growth and job expansion.”
One of the main affects of this deal for the consumer is that AT&T’s plans for a two tiered Internet, already given tacit approval by FCC chair Kevin Martin, now look unstoppable and in fact are likely the main motivating factor behind the purchase. AT&T have also said that they will start to charge for the free wifi services which Google has been providing in San Francisco.
The Google brand will remain but Google’s two founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are, according to a joint statement, leaving the new Google to “pursue other interests” – current Google CEO Eric Schmidt will remain in place for 12 months.