Speaking at the Wireless Communication Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans last week, WorldCom president and CEO Bernie Ebbers admitted what has been known for several weeks now: the merger between his Clinton-based company and Sprint is dead. Killed by regulators. With it, Ebbers said, the future of high-speed wireless Internet connections is uncertain.
The telecom giant which would have resulted with the union of WorldCom and Sprint had the potential (read: the capital) to rapidly develop and deploy new wireless technology critical to the future of the New Economy. However, this perceived behemoth frightened U.S. and European bureaucrats struggling to understand the dynamics of the Internet, wireless, e-commerce, and we could go on. The bottom line? Mississippi’s economy loses. The U.S. economy loses. And, you guessed it, the world economy loses — simply because government didn’t get it.
Partnerships, alliances and mergers in the 21st century don’t fit into the rather archaic, early 20th century regulatory restraints shackling our economy.
It is imperative that our government and business leaders work together in the very near future to do as much as possible to encourage the unfettered development of technology, e-business and the new marketplace which has the potential to change far more lives for the better than any bureaucrat with a shiny, new welfare program ever thought possible.