The bids are apparently in, so the chess match over AT&T Broadband could
be ending soon.
According to sources familiar with the situation and published reports,
AT&T Broadband received bids from three different suitors: Comcast Corp.,
AOL Time Warner Inc. and Cox Communications Inc.
Microsoft Corp. has also been named as willing to back Comcast and Cox in
their bids for the AT&T Broadband unit, or to invest between $3 billion and
$5 billion in the cable operation if AT&T Corp. decides to move ahead with
its initial plans to spin the MSO off into an independent entity.
Microsoft's prime motivation appears to be keeping AOL Time Warner from
increasing its dominance in the cable industry. An AT&T Broadband-AOL Time
Warner merger would create a cable giant with 27 million subscribers, plus AOL's
30 million Internet-access subscribers.
AT&T's board of directors was slated to meet Saturday to look through the
proposals. But the review could easily take more than one day. According to
people familiar with the situation, AT&T required each bidder to submit
extremely detailed bids, numbering about 300 pages each.
AT&T chairman C. Michael Armstrong has said publicly that he expects
AT&T Broadband's fate to be decided by the end of the