This article has an interesting "theory" that with AT&T's latest financial and marketing moves, including a strong push for VoIP offerings (AT&T CallVantage), that AT&T is setting itself up for sale or takeover bid. This is an incredible claim if it is true. Is it possible that the exponential growth of VoIP has expedited the demise of a traditional carrier? I'm not ready to buy into that theory just yet. However, I will say that the growth of VoIP has forced carriers to change their business models, including AT&T's.
If only the carriers listed to Rich Tehrani and myself in 1998 when we launched Internet Telephony Magazine. We knew VoIP would one day before a feasible business model, but instead the carriers looked at us like we were crazy and said, "You’re crazy. VoIP is for hobbyists and chat. There are no business applications for Internet Telephony." Boy, were they wrong! (Side note: Remember VocalTec’s Internet Phone product sold at CompUSA, one of the first VoIP applications?)
It only took the carriers 6 years to come around, but I think they finally get it.