Report: Virtual Cartels

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  Virtual cartels, oligopolistic structures

Global networks require global technical standards ensuring the compatibility of systems. Being able to define such standards makes a corporation extremely powerful. And it requires the suspension of competitive practices. Competition is relegated to the symbolic realm. Diversity and pluralism become the victims of the globalisation of baroque sameness.

The ICT market is dominated by incomplete competition aimed at short-term market domination. In a very short time, new ideas can turn into best-selling technologies. Innovation cycles are extremely short. But today's state-of-the-art products are embryonic trash.

    According to the Computer and Communications Industry Association, Microsoft is trying to aggressively take over the network market. This would mean that AT&T would control 70 % of all long distance phone calls and 60 % of cable connections.

    AOL and Yahoo are lone leaders in the provider market. AOL has 21 million subscribers in 100 countries. In a single month, AOL registers 94 million visits. Two thirds of all US internet users visited Yahoo in December 1999.

    The world's 13 biggest internet providers are all American.

    AOL and Microsoft have concluded a strategic cross-promotion deal. In the US, the AOL icon is installed on every Windows desktop. AOL has also concluded a strategic alliance with Coca Cola.

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Virtual Cartels
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AT&T Corporation provides voice, data and video communications services to large and small businesses, consumers and government entities. AT&T and its subsidiaries furnish domestic and international long distance, regional, local and wireless communications services, cable television and Internet communications services. AT&T also provides billing, directory and calling card services to support its communications business. AT&T's primary lines of business are business services, consumer services, broadband services and wireless services. In addition, AT&T's other lines of business include network management and professional services through AT&T Solutions and international operations and ventures. In June 2000, AT&T completed the acquisition of MediaOne Group. With the addition of MediaOne's 5 million cable subscribers, AT&T becomes the country's largest cable operator, with about 16 million customers on the systems it owns and operates, which pass nearly 28 million American homes. (source: Yahoo)

Slogan: "It's all within your reach"

Business indicators:

Sales 1999: $ 62.391 bn (+ 17,2 % from 1998)

Market capitalization: $ 104 bn

Employees: 107,800

Corporate website: http://www.att.com http://www.att.com/