Corporate Break Up Of AT & T

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The AT&T Divestiture of 1983 and 1984 would go on to be known as the largest corporate break-up in the history of United States‘ trust busting court rulings. Presided over on a federal level by judge Harold H. Greene, the subsequent break-up of the Bell System and the reorganization of AT&T changed the face of telecommunications in the United States, a face that had been well set for over a century. While the singular AT&T company collapsed and the well-shaped Bell System came to an end, only one aspect of the former monopoly remained, for the most part, unchanged. The Communication Workers of America (CWA), and its members, were able to remain distant from the chaos that overtook the deconstructed system and the companies that came in its…show more content…
AT&T filed for a Certificate of Incorporation on April 17, 1880, under the name The American Bell Telephone Company, which allowed itself to franchise itself to smaller telephone companies6. While this allowed the smaller companies to function and thrive under the larger Bell name, it also allowed the company to have a greater control over the growing communications industry. The company went on to purchase most of the shares of Western Electric Manufacturing Company in 1881; following this purchase, American Bell moved its other product manufacturing services over to its control, changing the name to Western Electric Company. Within the year WECO, as it was called, became the sole manufacturer of all Bell System equipment.7 The American Bell Telephone Company’s control over technological and manufacturing advances became its source of opposition over independent phone companies; when Bell’s patent expired by 1895, the rush for other companies to gain ground was met with harsh resistance from the ABT8. Using its newfound networks and other advances, ABT made it nearly impossible for other smaller phone companies to make inroads in the industry; the most detrimental lack of service the System provided was denying independent services from using their long distance phone lines.9 To protect themselves and their edge over competing companies, and to prevent any efforts to regulate the company under individual state law, ABT transferred its stocks to the larger AT&T network in 1899. With this move, AT&T became the holder of all the individual licenses of the smaller bell franchisees, the long distance service line, WECO, and other Bell

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