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Alcatel and Lucent to Merge 174

Cappella writes "It is confirmed. Alcatel and Lucent are combining to form a USD $25 billion entity. This marks a new wave of telecommunications company consolidation in the next few months to come." They first tried to work out a merger five years ago, but finally, at long last, it's come to fruition.
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Alcatel and Lucent to Merge

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  • AT&T (Score:5, Funny)

    by HoosierPeschke ( 887362 ) <> on Sunday April 02, 2006 @03:46PM (#15046553) Homepage
    Soooooooo will they rename themselves Western Electric and merge with AT&T?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      So maybe my LU stock will finally rise???
    • Re:AT&T (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:03PM (#15046608) Homepage Journal
      Since the new company will be headquartered in Paris, it would have to be French Electric.
      • Re:AT&T (Score:4, Funny)

        by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:55PM (#15046779) Journal
        Since the new company will be headquartered in Paris, it would have to be French Electric.

        Don't worry. The US branch would be called Freedom Electric.
      • France is in the "West."

        Is this another AFD prank?

      • Since the new company will be headquartered in Paris, it would have to be French Electric.

        If you ever go to Harbor Freight Tools, take a look at the brands sometime. Everything is from China, but they're all named things like "Chicago Power Tools" or "American Air Compressors."
        • That's a little different.
          Chicago Power Tools is a 'store-branding' of Chicago Pneumatic, a maker of some very good air tools. I would go so far to say that I'll only buy CP breakers and rivet guns, and their impact wrenches give IR a run for the money.

          CP was bought by Atlas Copco, a Swedish company.

          Besides, if you buy anything at Harbor Freight anticipating a serious tool purchase, you deserve to be duped by misleading names.
      • The US wing will be called Freedom Electric...
    • Western Electric already exists - it's called Agere Systems [].
      • Re:AT&T (Score:2, Informative)

        which came from Lucent [] which came from AT&T Technologies [] which came from Western Electric [] which came from AT&T []. So we're both right.
      • Gee... then who are these guys []?

        When the original AT&T / Lucent / NCR splitup happened, I spoke to my company's AT&T sales rep, asking why they didn't just use the Western Electric name for what was becoming Lucent. She said it was because, essentially, the existing associations of the name made it impossible. I am not sure now whether she meant it would violate some FTC rule, or if the bosses at AT&T wanted a very clean break with the past.
  • I was thinking "Lucatel". What else we got?
  • by quadra23 ( 786171 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @03:55PM (#15046579) Journal
    Cappella: They first tried to work out a merger five years ago, but finally, at long last, it's come to fruition.

    From article: Close to 9,000 jobs, or about 10% of the companies' workforce will lose their jobs as a result of the merger.

    If I was a marketing person I would definitely try to side-step this fact, unless I sugar-coated it by saying how this makes the company more efficient.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    loyalty of a cat + the cleanliness of a dog
  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:00PM (#15046597)
    Alcatel and Lucent had tried to merge five years ago, but talks collapsed.

    This time round they had to overcome concerns about security because Lucent does work for the US government.

    To smooth the merger's path, Lucent will set up a separate US company to deal with sensitive government contracts.

    Well, I guess we can't trust the French either. I wonder why there isn't a bigger issue made out of this considering the Dubai Ports World deal last month.
    • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:44PM (#15046746)
      Actually, this is not unusual for companies that have defense contracts, even with very friendly countries. There are laws stating that companies that deal with classified material and classified projects must be American. As a result, foreign-owned companies create American shell companies to handle all the details that the parent company is not allowed to work with.

      My previous employer got bought out by the Swiss, and our Defense Team became a separate corporation owned by the parent company. It's standard operating procedure.
    • Actually, it wasn't just the US that had national security concerns.

      The Thales deal, designed to answer French government concerns over sensitive military technologies, hit a snag when European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. intervened -- with the reported backing of French President Jacques Chirac -- to demand that its own Astrium satellite unit be included in the operation.

      Associated Press []

  • Screw the French (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by fred911 ( 83970 )
    So it's ok for them to play in our economy but gor forbid we play in theirs! FTF I bet this deal gets squashed.
  • wtf? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Beuno ( 740018 )
    Common... you're really going to say "fruition"?
  • Naperville (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Does anyone know what this means for jobs in Lucent's Naperville location?
    • Could set off a ripple effect in the tech job market in greater Chicagoland, if they close it or cut it enough. Let's hope for all our sakes they leave it alone. Frankly, I hope so for "Lucatel"'s sake, too. It's generally ill-advised to fire those staff members who actually bring in revenue.
  • Oh goody! (Score:4, Funny)

    by cubicledrone ( 681598 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:12PM (#15046636)
    $25 billion? That should be good for at least ten thousand layoffs. Middle managers are right now compliing lists of people who just bought homes or just re-financed. Hey, Bob over there just got a new car! Oh yeah, he's out with the first group.

    Layoffs for all! Bonuses and parties for the rest! THERE'S CAKE IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM!

  • After all, Glenda [] is drawn by Renee French.

    "Plan 9 from Bell Labs" the only OMG!!! Ponies OS. []

    Seriously, we (the plan9 community - there could be up to 100 of us!) sure hope they "get" plan9.

  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:28PM (#15046698) Journal
    The cure for all your telecommunications heartburn or upset stomach ???
  • Massive blackhole of suckitude to form, news at 11.

    Lets see, what do these guys do...
    make "winmodems"
    produce crappy PBX hardware
    offer "services" ...
    3) lose money!
  • by Mowie_X ( 600765 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:38PM (#15046725) Homepage
    The whole industry is very incestuous. It will save a lot of money from both companies kitty used to lure employees from the other. Don't count this as minor savings either. It was not uncommon at all for Lucent to fly Cisco/Nortel employees from Can to US for an interview at the spur of the moment -- including putting them up in hotel, costs, etc...

    I do suspect this will lead to a lot of layoffs however. Do they really need 2 wireless divisions doing exactly the same thing?
  • by ilove2bscrewed ( 965561 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:55PM (#15046776)
    Alcatel is making a move that may bite them in the ass. Lucent is not worth what they are paying for it, the entire company is worth maybe 1/2 of that price TOPS. As part of the deal I hope that Alcatel gets to execute Patrica Russo by a great french method of 'off with her head'. The first thing that Alcatel needs to do post merger is sack the entire BOD and any other worthless manager still left on the payroll.

    If were a cartoonist, this is the cartoon I would draw.

    Frame #1: A fat PHB with the Red lucent symbol on his back, he is screwing an employee with the caption of "It's just business"
    Frame #2: A french executive from Alcatel is screwing the fat PHB from the first frame with the caption of "How do you like it?"

    The red lucent symbol will always remind me of how my ass felt after the management had their way with me. No romance, no dinner, no flowers, just a royal pounding in the ASCII chart!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Lucent and Nortel used to be the big rivals. Nowadays, they're both a fraction of what they once were. The rumour says that Nortel is up for grabs as well. Perhaps Huawei will take ownership. That way they can get some real R&D instead of S&D (Steal and Development).
  • watch the stock monday (LU). The people who make 10% in one day care...
  • It ain't confirmed until Netcraft confirms it!


  • Does Bush know? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tootlemonde ( 579170 ) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:27PM (#15047279)

    Back at the beginning of Clinton's first term, lobbyists from Western Electric alerted him that the White House switchboard was a product of Northern Telecom. NorTel is nominally a Canadian company but this particular switch was made by its Raleigh, N.C. plant that employed 20,000 American workers and was installed by an American company.

    Clinton had the system ripped out and replaced by a good ole Western Electric product. Lucent is the successor company to Western Electric. Unless the something has changed in the intervening years, the French now control the White House telecom system.

    • It should also be pointed out that technically the French now control about 75% of every telephone switch in the United States (5ESS, 4ESS, etc). I can't wait till they start playing the man-in-the-middle games with our trunks ;)

  • Hopefully for the company, this means it will now have the French government's lucrative preferential contracting support combined with Lucent's ability to sometimes make quality stuff, and not the other way around. Because the Alcatel gear is truly shitty in a level all to its own, at least with the PABXs etc that I have had to deal with.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison