US telecom giant AT&T plans to slash up to 10,000 jobs, mostly through normal turnover, if its $67-billion purchase of smaller telco BellSouth is approved, an Associated Press report said.
AT&T CFO Rick Lindner was quoted by Associated Press as saying that the work force reduction would take place over three years.
The combined company would have around 317,000 employees, which would include people from Cingular Wireless, which was now an AT&T-BellSouth joint venture, the report said.
The report said the new company would be the largest phone company in the US, with nearly half of all lines, the largest mobile operator, and the largest provider of broadband Internet service.
Investors and analysts expected regulators to approve the merger due to the fact that phone companies were facing increasing competition, especially from cable operators, the report said.
The acquisition was expected to close next year, the report further said.