AT&T (American Telephone & Telegraph) is the largest telephone company worldwide. The original American Telephone & Telegraph, sometimes referred to as "The Bell System" or "Ma Bell," was split into eight separate regional bell operating companies in 1984. The eight "Baby Bells" have since merged into three corporations: AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications, and Qwest Communications. AT&T Inc., also known as "the new AT&T," was formed with the purchase of AT&T Corporation by SBC Communications. The name "AT&T" was kept because of its international recognition.