Getting Past Yes

Negotiating as if Implementation Mattered

by Danny Ertel

IN JULY 1998, AT&T AND BT announced a new 50/50 joint venture that promised to bring global interconnectivity to multinational customers. Concert, as the venture was called, was launched with great fanfare and even greater expectations: The $10 billion start-up would pool assets, talent, and relationships and was expected to log $1 billion in profits from day one. Just three years later, Concert was out of business. It had laid off 2,300 employees, announced $7 billion in charges, and returned its infrastructure assets to the parent companies. To be sure, the weak market played a role in Concert’s demise, but the way the deal was put together certainly hammered a few ...

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