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Telecom marriage

MBJ Editorial

The union of MCI WorldCom and SkyTel, two of Mississippi’s leading companies, is a great deal for employees, shareholders and the Mississippi business community.

Rumors of the deal have swirled around the state for months. Confirmation of it last week during a late afternoon press conference in Clinton was welcomed with considerable enthusiasm, as it should be. The billion-dollar deal focuses attention on Mississippi’s dynamic telecommunications industry, and additionally, on the dramatic economic development which has characterized the state during the 1990s.

“This brings a new round of attention to the telecommunications sector,” said Buddy Bynum, director of public affairs for the Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development.

MCI WorldCom president and CEO Bernie Ebbers described the acquisition as complementary, but clearly, the deal significantly enhances Jackson-based SkyTel’s position in a rough-and-tumble, highly competitive industry. The “Paging-Company-That-Could” now stands at the forefront of the telecommunications world backed by MCI WorldCom’s tremendous resources.

There is little doubt that even greater success — and profitability — awaits these dynamic companies which have forever altered the Mississippi economic landscape.

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