American Telephone and Telegraph
American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) is the 20th 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 following an antitrust lawsuit.
The eight "Baby Bells" have since merged into three corporations: AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications, and CenturyLink. 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.
Today, AT&T provides landline telephone service, television, high speed internet (via DSL or through U-Verse), and wireless phone service. In 2004, following the acquisition of AT&T by SBC Global Communcations, Cingular Wireless was rebranded as AT&T Mobility.
In 2011, AT&T Mobility announced that their intention to purchase T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. If the sale goes through, AT&T Mobility will surpass Verizon Wireless and become the largest wireless provider in the United States.
- AT&T agrees to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion (update) Engadget, March 20, 2011