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News > Deals
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AT&T weighs broadband's fate
graphic October 24, 2001: 2:02 p.m. ET

Company tells suitors to have their bids in by November at latest.
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  • Comcast signs AT&T confidentiality agreement - Sept. 28, 2001
  • AOL proposes AT&T cable deal: Malone - Sept. 7, 2001
  • AT&T to cut 2,400 jobs - Oct. 23, 2001
  • AT&T rejects Comcast Bid - July 18, 2001
  • AT&T meets expectations - Oct. 23, 2001
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    NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - AT&T Corp. hopes to decide by the end of the year whether to sell its broadband unit or launch a public offering of the unit, a spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

    AT&T hopes to have formal bids in from suitors by the end of November, a source said. But the nation's top long-distance phone company could still choose to go public with AT&T Broadband.

    "We have alternatives and that's an alternative," a spokeswoman said.

    New York-based AT&T on Tuesday ousted Dan Somers as head of the broadband unit, replacing him with William Schleyer. Somers is retiring, AT&T said. Somers' successor could give AT&T ammunition to launch a tracking stock for the cable business, analysts said.

    AT&T met Wall Street third-quarter expectations when it posted earnings of 4 cents a share. But that's compared with 35 cents for the same time period last year; the company's profit from continuing operations has fallen 88 percent. AT&T's net income was $11.06 billion or $3.03 a share, including a $13.5 billion gain from the spinoff of AT&T Wireless earlier this year.

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    Shares for AT&T (T: down $1.40 to $16.30, Research, Estimates) dropped more than 6 percent Wednesday.

    Last summer, AT&T pushed plans aside for an initial public offering of the broadband unit when Comcast Corp. made an unsolicited $44.5 billion offer for the cable unit. In mid-July, AT&T rejected Comcast's offer and began pitching the unit to other suitors, including CNNmoney.com parent AOL Time Warner (AOL: down $0.94 to $31.95, Research, Estimates), Cox Communications, Walt Disney Co., and Microsoft (MSFT: up $0.36 to $60.79, Research, Estimates).

    Comcast had refused to sign a confidentiality agreement, but in September finally signed the agreement which revived talks between the companies.

    AOL Time Warner has also made a proposal to buy the broadband unit.

    Comcast declined to comment. graphic

      RELATED STORIES

    Comcast signs AT&T confidentiality agreement - Sept. 28, 2001

    AOL proposes AT&T cable deal: Malone - Sept. 7, 2001

    AT&T to cut 2,400 jobs - Oct. 23, 2001

    AT&T rejects Comcast Bid - July 18, 2001

    AT&T meets expectations - Oct. 23, 2001





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