I just got to thinking how AT&T was broken up. Not good for the country. This was broken into like 12 (or whatever) companies. Now it seems SBC took over Pacific Teles (or whatever) and then Ameritech. That is two of the baby bells. And I guess Nynex and New England are combined.
What gives? If they broke them up why are they being allowed to recombine?
AT&T and the Baby Bells were limited to what they could do because they were governed by a consent decree issued by Judge Greene when he rule the company had to be broken up in 1982. The Telecommunications Act of 1996, passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton, voided that consent decree. The idea is that there is now sufficient opportunity for competition in the industry that recombination of parts of the old AT&T monolith won’t do much harm. See All Hell Breaks Loose in the Telephone Industry for a good overview of the situation.