Feeds

Baby Bells emulsify back into AT&T

Competition, US-style

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Back in January 1982, the US Department of Justice announced the dawn of a new era of competition. The national phone monopoly AT&T was to be broken up, creating seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) to compete alongside the phone veteran. It was the second anti-trust agreement in AT&T's history.

The "Death Star" has inspired such loathing over the years that there are Americans who still refuse to have do anything with it. Although this is easier said than done.

The RBOCs have coalesced into two gigantic amalgamations of region monopolies - the twin duopolies of Verizon and SBC - which thanks to intensive lobbying at the Federal, state and city levels have succeeded in tipping the competitive landscape their way. They've also extended their reach into mobile voice - the leading two cellular carriers are SBC (Cingular) and Verizon - and fixed data. The future will be AT&T flavored too: the company is operating three trial WiMAX deployments and sees its relationship with the ILECs (Independent Local Exchange Carriers) as fertile ground.

The former state-owned monopolies in Europe inspire similar loathing, but regulators have been a little more successful in encouraging competition. The telcos t didn't succeed in extending their fixed line monopolies into the age of mobile telephony, unlike Cingular and Verizon.

Now history has come full circle with SBC, which is at the approval stage of swallowing what was left of AT&T, renaming itself … AT&T. SBC today confirmed that the merged entity will use the AT&T brand, and will unveil a new logo and stock ticker when the process is complete by the end of the year.

The 1982 antirust case took seven and half years to reach a conclusion, and just twenty three years to unravel.

Well, wasn't that worth it? ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.