The American and British giants AT&T and BT are to join forces in creating a joint venture with an annual turnover of 10 billion dollars, likely to constitute a pivotal point in global telecommunications. The new venture will focus services primarily on large multinationals keen to exploit the most advanced telephony and data transfer techniques, and make better use of Internet resources. The two companies hope their alliance announced in London on July 26, will establish their credentials as the uncontested leaders of the fast growing global telecommunications market. The two partners are to pool their international activities, "trans-boundary" operations and international products destined for business. The new joint venture will also take control of Concert, the enterprise BT established with its erstwhile American ally MCI.

BT and AT&T are confident that annual turnover of USD10 billion will grow by 15% per year on a market estimated to be worth USD40 billion set to expand five-fold over the coming years. The two groups also plan to jointly develop an Internet access service of unequalled capacity which should boost the development of electronic commerce worldwide, and offer new solutions on in-house Intranet networks. The operating of profits of the new venture, which has still to be christened, are expected exceed USD1 billion in the first year and to grow by 15 to 20%...

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