By Paula Dwyer – To understand the folly of blocking this takeover, think back to 1974 to the original AT&T antitrust case, which also began from a fear of vertical integration. Back then, the concern was that a single company controlled all the local landlines and the company that made the equipment.
For sure, AT&T had a monopoly, but it was created and sanctioned by the federal government. All that was needed was a government deregulation order and a green light that it wouldn’t block competitors.
Instead, the U.S. sued to break up Ma Bell.
After eight years of courtroom battles, AT&T in 1982 consented to be broken into seven Baby Bells and AT&T, which could only offer long-distance service. Many mergers later, one of AT&T’s offspring, Southwestern Bell, had acquired four of its siblings plus the old AT&T, and took the AT&T name.
The two remaining Baby Bells joined with GTE and became Verizon. The result is even more concentration than before.
If the U.S. had simply deregulated plain old telephone service, any one of these technologies (fiber-optics, Arpanet, cellular network) could have forced AT&T to adjust or disappear. more> https://goo.gl/XLVsfB
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