AT&T: Lawsuit lingers, earnings tomorrow

An anti-trust lawsuit that four small ISPs filed against AT&T (actually against SBC Communications, which later became AT&T) in 2003 may be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Or maybe it won't. The Supreme Court has actually asked the U.S. Department of Justice Solicitor General to provide an opinion on the case before it considers whether to take it on. The ISPs have alleged that AT&T's own retail access prices were too close to the wholesale access prices it charged the ISPs, thereby forcing the ISPs into lower retail prices and consequently tight margins. This is, of course, not the first time AT&T has faced an anti-trust lawsuit.

Meanwhile, AT&T is scheduled to announce fourth quarter earnings tomorrow. Its call is much-anticipated in part because of recent comments by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson that the mega-carrier was seeing some recent softness in consumer market segments. Market watchers are expecting earnings of about 71 cents per share, and revenue of about $30.56 billion. You can bet this will be one of our top stories tomorrow, so stay tuned.

For more:
- read this Associated Press story about the lawsuit at CNN Money
- check out this earnings preview at BloggingStocks

Related Articles:
- AT&T sees consumer slowdown Article