Multinational companies have seen them come and go — Concert, Unisource, Global One and a handful of other global networking ventures. Now a new one is about to be born, following BT Group PLC’s agreement on Monday to acquire Infonet Services Corp.

But the question on the minds of many experts is: Will this newly merged global communications company succeed where the others have failed? It’s possible, they agree, but BT will have its work cut out.

To briefly recap the deal, BT will pay about US$965 million to acquire El Segundo, California-based Infonet in a move aimed at substantially increasing the U.K. operator’s global reach and customer base. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory and stockholder approvals, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2005.

Infonet, for those not familiar with the company, succeeded where other global communication ventures, including BT’s Concert venture with AT&T Corp., failed: it survived.

Today, the global service provider boasts operations in 70 countries, points of presence in 180 countries and, equally impressive, a customer base of more than 1,800 large and medium-size companies. Bayer AG, Nestl