Competitive impact of strategic restructuring: Evidence from the telecommunications industry

Michael Hertzel, J. K. Smith, R. L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Stock market evidence can provide insights into how firms in rapidly changing markets design and implement strategies. The failed merger attempt of Bell Atlantic and TCI serves as a case study for examining the effects of strategic choices on firms in the telecommunications industry. The paper documents the varying strategies of the seven regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs) and analyzes the stock price reactions of industry participants to the proposed merger and its termination in the context of these differing strategic orientations. Results reveal that the announcement of the merger generated significant spillover effects for other cable and local telephone companies as well as for other industry participants. We use the reactions to test hypotheses regarding the rationale for the merger proposal and the reasons for its demise. Stock price reactions to the proposal were significantly more positive for the three RBOCs that had committed to strategic approaches similar to Bell Atlantic's than for the other three RBOCs. However, reactions to the termination indicate that investors viewed the hierarchical organizational strategy of Bell Atlantic as less desirable than those being pursued by other Bell companies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-246
Number of pages40
JournalIndustrial and Corporate Change
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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