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This Day In Market History: AT&T Buys TCI For $31B

Wayne Duggan

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 21 years ago, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced a $31.7 billion buyout of Tele-Communications.

Where The Market Was

The Dow closed at 8,923.87. The S&P 500 traded at around 1,132.88. Today, the Dow is trading at 26,780 and the S&P 500 is trading at 2,952.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1998, the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland signed the Good Friday Agreement, which market the beginning of a peace process between Ireland and Britain. Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in Menlo Park, California. A gallon of gasoline cost $1.15.

Mega Telecom Merger

Tele-Communications Inc, or TCI, was a cable TV provider that was founded in Montana in 1958. TCI went public in 1970 and eventually grew to become the largest cable operator in the country.

By the time AT&T announced its bid to acquire TCI in June 1998, TCI was second only to Time Warner in terms of size, with more than 13 million customers. After the merger was completed in March 1999, TCI became AT&T Broadband and Internet Services and was AT&T’s largest business unit. The deal also gave AT&T access to local phone lines for the first time since the U.S. government broke up AT&T’s Ma Bell monopoly in 1984.

AT&T Broadband was later sold to Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) in 2002.

Related Links:

This Day In Market History: Penn Central Bankruptcy

What Makes A Merger Of Equals?

Photo by Tdorante10/Wikimedia.

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