Frontlines

Fortnightly Magazine - November 1 1999
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Illinois regulator Ruth Kretschmer takes a stand against deals that would rub out competitors.

I can't recall seeing a more cogent, convincing andpassionate plea for utility regulators to get off their backsides and actually take a stand on something, as when just the other day, I came across the dissenting opinion issued Sept. 23 by Ruth Kretschmer, of the Illinois Commerce Commission. There she takes her own agency to task for voting (3-2) to approve the proposed mega-merger between the telephone giant SBC Communications Inc. and homegrown Ameritech Corp., parent company of Illinois Bell. But is Ruth too late? Already SBC has swallowed Pacific Bell, one of the former seven "Baby Bells." And at one time SBC was looking to combine with AT&T - a deal that defied belief, at least until Sprint started talking with MCI/WorldCom.

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