AT&T On Verge Of $65 Billion Acquisition of BellSouth, Rest Of Cingular: Report

AT&T is close to acquiring BellSouth for roughly $65 million — and, most important, sole control over wireless powerhouse Cingular, according to a report on WSJ.com. The market cap of the expanded AT&T company would be in the $150-160 billion range, about 50 percent greater than Verizon. Despite certain protests from some quarters, the Bush FCC may be inclined to stick with its current pattern of approving big mergers as long as competition can be invoked — but with some restrictions. The Journal frames it — in part — as the possible last hurrah of serial acquirer AT&T Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre as he nears retirement.