Comcast Corporation’s unsolicited $40 billion stock-swap offer for AT&T Broadband, America’s largest cable TV operator, was yesterday rejected unanimously by the AT&T Corporation board. The thumbs-down was not unexpected given earlier remarks made by those close to the negotiations.

Some AT&T insiders, including chairman Michael Armstrong and former director John C Malone, had made it clear they thought the amount on the table inadequate [WAMN: 16-Jul-01] and Comcast’s offer “opportunistic”.

But the approach has whetted AT&T’s appetite for a sale and yesterday’s statement from the company declared that it will now “explore financial and strategic alternatives” for its cable TV offshoot.

Names of other possible bidders have been freely bandied by the press, among them number two cable network Cox, AOL Time Warner, Vivendi Universal of France and Charter Communications, the cable company launched by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

News source: Wall Street Journal