The birth of the new AT&T; is, in large measure, the culmination of the evolution of communications in the United States. AT&T;’s roots stretch back to 1876, with Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone and the founding of the company that became AT&T.; As the parent company of the Bell System, AT&T; provided what was by all accounts the best telephone service in the world.
The Bell System was divested in 1984 by an agreement between the former AT&T; and the U.S. Department of Justice, in which AT&T; agreed to divest itself of its local telephone operations but retain its long distance, R&D; and manufacturing arms. Out of the divestiture was born SBC Communications Inc. (formerly known as Southwestern Bell Corp.) and BellSouth Corporation.
In the face of dramatic changes to the competitive landscape triggered by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, SBC Communications Inc. embarked upon a series of acquisitions to establish itself as a global communications provider: Pacific Telesis Group (1997), Southern New England Telecommunications (1998) and Ameritech Corporation (1999).
In 2005, SBC Communications Inc. acquired AT&T; Corp. and created the new AT&T;, poised to lead the industry in one of the most significant shifts in communications technology since the invention of the telephone nearly 130 years earlier.
With the merger of AT&T; and BellSouth, along with consolidated ownership of Cingular Wireless and YELLOWPAGES.COM, the new AT&T; will have greater financial, technical, research and development as well as network and marketing resources to better serve consumers and business customers of all sizes. The merger will accelerate the introduction of new and improved product and service sets for those customers. © 2006 AT&T;
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