Just a quick bit of math and you can see that today's news doesn't bode well for AT&T, which has been enjoying its position at the top of the heap in major US cellphone carriers for quite some time now. While AT&T has a solid 71m subscribers under their belt, number two Verizon has 67m and number five Alltel has 13m -- which means this merger could potentially put 80m customers under the same roof. Clearly being able to claim the "most reliable" AND most widely used network in the US makes it a tantalizing deal for VZW, but the ~$2,100 they'll be paying per subscriber isn't lightyears away from the notoriously overinflated amount Sprint paid in their heyday for Nextel. That merger cost $36 billion, which turned out to be ~$2,350 per sub at around 15 million Nextel customers -- and we all know how well that deal turned out for Sprint
. But we're sure they're thinking this will go more along the lines of AT&T's merger with Cingular
, which worked out pretty damned well so far. So what's this thing named, anyway? Verizon Alltel? Veritel? Allizon? We think just Verizon, thanks.