Atlanta—AT&T said Sunday it plans to buy BellSouth Corp. in a deal valued at $67 billion.
The merger has been approved by the boards of both companies and is awaiting approval by shareholders of each and regulators. The deal is expected to close within a year.
"This merger is a logical next step that creates substantial value for customers and stockholders of both AT&T and BellSouth," said AT&T Chairman-CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. in a statement. "It will benefit customers through new services and expanded service capabilities.”
The merger will streamline the ownership and operations of Cingular Wireless, which is jointly owned by AT&T and BellSouth.
It will also speed the development of new services for consumers and businesses, as well as advance the industry's shift to Internet Protocol network-based technologies, AT&T said.