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British Telecom: Talking With AT&T

September 18, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ British Telecommunications PLC confirmed Sunday it is in ``continuing″ talks with AT&T Corp. to consider partnerships in business services as part of a ``major strategic review″ it announced in April.

BT had earlier referred to reports the two telecoms giants were in merger talks as ``pure speculation.″

``Naturally, the strategic review includes continuing discussions with AT&T,″ the company said on its Web site. The two firms are partners in the Advance wireless alliance and in the Concert joint venture, which combined their international operations.

BT said the discussions ``include exploring ways of broadening and strengthening the scope of the relationship between BT and AT&T in business services. These conversations are continuing and may or may not lead to any change in the existing alliance arrangements.″

The firm said it would make a further announcement about its strategic review later in the year.

Both companies have been struggling to keep pace with the fast growing wireless market and faster moving rivals.

AT&T stock has fallen 39 percent so far this year and BT has faced intense competition for its core business in the United Kingdom.

BT spokesmen refused to comment further on the announcement.

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