Divestiture Marches On ...
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 94 14:04:45 PDT
Subject: Divestiture Marches On ...
Forwarded-by: "Pat Parseghian" <email@example.com>
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By Leslee Leaky
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
ORLANDO -- The seven Baby Bells plan to sell off Bellcore, their
jointly owned research arm, to the Disney Corporation for $15.3
billion. Disney plans to convert the research and software
development organization into a new theme park, tentatively named
"PhoneWorld". Disney officials expect that PhoneWorld will be similar
in nature to the EPCOT Center that is part of Disneyworld in Orlando,
As with other Disney theme parks, PhoneWorld will be broken into
several areas, each of which has its own theme. In Tomorrow Land,
visitors will be able to see some of the new communication
technologies being developed for the National Information
Infrastructure, such as the videophone and pay-per-view movies. In
Frontier Land, visitors will be able to watch shootouts among the Bell
Operating Companies, Long Distance Carriers, and Cable Television
Companies. In Fantasy Land, visitors will experience a world without
state Public Utility Commissions and PTT's in which everyone will have
access to advanced services at a reasonable price.
> The silhouette of Mickey Mouse's head has long been used as a
> trademark of The Disney Corporation. In keeping with this theme, the
> symbol for PhoneWorld will be an inverted telephone handset balanced
> on top of a globe.
Although Disney has long had the number one family of theme parks in
the United States, the Six Flags chain of amusement parks has been
making serious inroads, and lowering Disney's profitability. The
decision to place a theme park in the Northeastern US is an important
part of Disney's strategy to increase profitability. Given Disney's
failure to win approval for their proposed theme park in Virginia,
locating a theme park in New Jersey is important to the company.
PhoneWorld is within a reasonable driving distance of many major
metropolitan areas on the East Coast, including New York,
Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. Also, the New
Jersey location of PhoneWorld will allow direct competition with Six
Flags Great Adventure theme park located in Southern New Jersey.
In addition to PhoneWorld, Disney is contemplating additional projects
for Bellcore, including Bellcore on Ice and a full-length feature
© 1994 Peter Langston