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Short Take: FCC clears AT&T, BT alliance

The Federal Communications Commission approved an international alliance between telecommunications giants AT&T and British Telecommunications. The joint venture, dubbed Concert, was formed in July 1998 but faced regulatory scrutiny, particularly over federal law enforcement agencies' concerns about the ability to wiretap foreign phone calls, some industry observers have speculated. The Justice Department and European Commission already have approved the alliance. Concert, which will serve multinational businesses, is expected to launch service in about a month.

    The Federal Communications Commission approved an international alliance between telecommunications giants AT&T and British Telecommunications. The joint venture, dubbed Concert, was formed in July 1998 but faced regulatory scrutiny, particularly over federal law enforcement agencies' concerns about the ability to wiretap foreign phone calls, some industry observers have speculated. The Justice Department and European Commission already have approved the alliance. Concert, which will serve multinational businesses, is expected to launch service in about a month.