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AT&T to Cut 4,600 Jobs, Sees First-Quarter Charge

AT&T said Friday it would cut its work force by 1.5 percent, or 4,600 jobs, primarily affecting management-level employees, resulting in a first-quarter pre-tax charge of $374 million.

AT&T's headquarters in San Antonio, Texas is shown on Sunday, March 5, 2006. AT&T Inc. is nearing a deal to acquire BellSouth Corp. for around $65 billion, according to media reports Sunday. The companies were expected to announce the terms of the deal as soon as Monday, according to an article in The New York Times and on the Web sites of The Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and USA Today. The papers cited unidentified sources, due to the sensitivity of the negotiations. (AP Ph
Toby Jorrin
AT&T's headquarters in San Antonio, Texas is shown on Sunday, March 5, 2006. AT&T Inc. is nearing a deal to acquire BellSouth Corp. for around $65 billion, according to media reports Sunday. The companies were expected to announce the terms of the deal as soon as Monday, according to an article in The New York Times and on the Web sites of The Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and USA Today. The papers cited unidentified sources, due to the sensitivity of the negotiations. (AP Ph

The biggest U.S. telecommunications provider, which has about 310,000 employees, said in a regulatory filing that its head count would remain stable in 2008 as it hires more workers to support growth areas.

AT&T said the job cuts -- affecting its wireline telephone business in the United States and around the world in mostly "non-customer-facing areas" -- are part of its efforts to streamline the company.

The job cuts come as it faces declining traditional phone sales and rising costs for deploying new, high-speed Internet and video services.

AT&T shares were up 50 cents, or 1 percent, to $38.07 in morning trade on New York Stock Exchange after the news.

AT&T Spokesman Walt Sharp said the company was in the process of notifying employees affected by the job cuts.

Last month, smaller telecom provider Qwest Communications International said it was cutting jobs by offering a "voluntary separation program" to less than 2 percent of its workers, or less than about 740 workers. Qwest cited a decline in phone lines.

AT&T, which posted a 2007 fourth-quarter profit of $3.1 billion, has made several acquisitions in recent years, including SBC Communications and BellSouth.

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