The end of the line for the telco?AT&T is in talks with BellSouth to merge its long-distance and business networking assets. The proposal is in its early stages, claim industry sources. Any deal could see AT&T shed its broadband business. Such a deal would effectively mean the death of AT&T as a leading global telecommunications brand. The telco is saddled with debt as a result of extensive investment in its cable business. Representatives from AT&T and BellSouth declined to comment on the deal, which was first reported by Business Week.