The Bull

Tuesday 18

December, 2018 1:34 AM



DICTIONARY : A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Baby Bells

What does it mean?

 

The regional telephone companies in the US that formed after the dissolution of AT&T in 1984 are known as the Baby Bells. The Modification of Final Judgement of 1982 is a telecommunication ruling that settled the landmark antitrust case of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) versus the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. by creating more competition in the telecommunications industry. The decree separated the local exchange service operating companies from the AT&T conglomerate to eliminate the phone service monopoly that had previously affected the US and Canada. This decision resulted in the formation of seven companies known as the Baby Bells, which were known as the Regional Bell Operating Companies.

 

Why were the Baby Bells formed?

 

Prior to the AT&T breakup, the company had been one of the very few telephone service providers and product manufacturers in the US, therefore benefitting from having a virtual market monopoly. The Baby Bell system was proposed by AT&T as a solution to this problem and was accepted in place of the DOJ’s intention to force AT&T to divest their subsidiary, Western Electric. Following their split from AT&T, the Baby Bell regional holding companies took with them the Bell trademark, an equal share of the Bells Labs, the Yellow Pages directory company, and the research and development subsidiary.

 

Which companies represent the Baby Bells?

 

The companies that formed the independent Regional Holdings Companies were NYNEX, BellSouth; Southwestern Bell Corp (later owned by SBC Communications), US West (later owned by CenturyLink); Pacific Telesis, Ameritech and Bell Atlantic (now owned by Verizon Communications).

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