Mr. Watson! Go there! They want you!

16 April 2008

While I was apparently distracted by shiny objects, Verizon Communications, Inc., spun-off its landline operations in Maine, New Hamsphire, and Vermont as Northern New England Spinco Inc., which was on the same day merged with FairPoint Communications, a firm previously noted for holding various small, rural local telephone operating companies.

I have received a tiny amount of stock, and a tiny check in lieu of a fractional share. They have suggested that I might sell them the shares. Previously, Verizon spun-off Idearc Media Corp., and likewise sent a small check and a tiny number of shares. They actively encouraged me to sell-back the shares, but I decided to be difficult. I don't plan to sell-back the FairPoint shares either.

It is interesting to see Verizon, which once aggressively absorbed other telephone companies, now spinning-off its landline operations in three states. When SBC Communications bought the remains of AT&T, and then took the name AT&T for itself, the media and others creäted the impression that the original AT&T, broken apart in the '80s, had been reässembled. (The Wikipedia article on the new AT&T uses a diagram designed as if to foster this misimpression.) In fact, some of the original RBOCs were not absorbed by SBC / AT&T, being instead held by Verizon and by Qwest Communications International, Inc. And now this consolidation into three parts has become a division into four parts.


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