Without continuing the L3 pile-on, one can easily glean from their public
filings that they have never properly filled out their management depth in
acquisition absorption and/or sufficiently empowered those folks. The
billions in revenue lost from acquisitions like Genuity and others have told
this story more than once.
L3 is not alone in this. Worldcomm's failure to integrate acquisitions led
to a much larger operational cash need than VZ has shown for the same assets
(verio, lots of other names here). This is because VZ understands how
traditional businesses acquire others, better, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, L3 has shown little interest in making the "real world,
tough business" cuts in heads and absorbing the real (internal) pain of
acquisitions and seems to have a pretty laissez-faire attitude towards its
customers, even at its senior management levels (Cxx). I think this will be
(and has been) the biggest problem for them. Even a possible merger/JV with
Sprint may not be sufficient to solve that. Their resolution of billing
disputes is much more typical of WCOM than VZ.
They are a big fish in lots, and lots, of markets. They enjoy being able
to dictate pricing in them. IMO, however, they don't have the maturity of
(say, AT&T or others) to take that big fish status and leave you still happy
with the service. (colloquially: if [good companies] are going to take
advantage, at least they don't make it more painful than necessary).
Operationally, where you have options (because of pricing, locality, etc)
it's long-term good to support competitors, diversity in connectivity, etc.
History has shown time and time again that when an industry consolidates a
lot of business with a certain vendor, bad things can and do occur.
Not to mention they have also been the subject of several class action suits
for this very reason regarding the integration of acquired assets, or lack