|Founded||October 5, 1983|
|Founders||Alexander Graham Bell|
Gardiner Greene Hubbard
|Headquarters||Whitacre Tower, |
|Revenue||US$171.76 billion (2020)|
|US$6.41 billion (2020)|
|−US$5.18 billion (2020)|
|Total assets||US$525.76 billion (2020)|
|Total equity||US$179.24 billion (2020)|
Number of employees
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company, Delaware-registered but headquartered at Whitacre Tower in Downtown Dallas, Texas. It is the world’s largest telecommunications company, and the second largest provider of mobile telephone services. As of 2020[update], AT&T was ranked 9th on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations, with revenues of $181 billion.
During most of the 20th century, AT&T had a monopoly on phone service in the United States. The company began its history as the American District Telegraph Company, formed in St. Louis in 1878. After expanding services to Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, through a series of mergers, it became Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1920, which was then a subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph Company. The latter was a successor of the original Bell Telephone Company founded by Alexander Graham Bell in 1877. The American Bell Telephone Company formed the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) subsidiary in 1885. In 1899, AT&T became the parent company after the American Bell Telephone Company sold its assets to its subsidiary. The company was rebranded as AT&T Corp. in 1994. The 1982 United States v. AT&T antitrust lawsuit resulted in the divestiture of AT&T's ("Ma Bell") local operating subsidiaries which were grouped into seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs), commonly referred to as "Baby Bells", resulting in seven independent companies, including Southwestern Bell Corporation (SBC). The latter changed its name to SBC Communications Inc. in 1995. In 2005, SBC purchased its former parent AT&T Corp. and took on its branding, with the merged entity naming itself AT&T Inc. and using its history, a version of its iconic logo and stock-trading symbol. AT&T Inc. acquired BellSouth Corporation in 2006, the last independent Baby Bell company, making its formerly joint venture Cingular Wireless (which had acquired AT&T Wireless in 2004) wholly owned and rebranding it as AT&T Mobility, and acquired Time Warner in 2016, with the proposed merger confirming on June 12, 2018 and the aim of making AT&T the largest and controlling shareholder of Time Warner and rebranding it as WarnerMedia in 2018.
AT&T was founded as Bell Telephone Company by Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Watson, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, and Thomas Sanders after Bell's patenting of the telephone in 1875. By 1881, Bell Telephone Company had become the American Bell Telephone Company. One of its subsidiaries was the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), established in 1885. On December 30, 1899, AT&T acquired the assets of its parent American Bell Telephone, becoming the new parent company. AT&T established a network of local telephone subsidiaries in the United States. AT&T and its subsidiaries held a phone service monopoly, authorized in 1913 by government authorities with the Kingsbury Commitment, throughout most of the twentieth century. This monopoly was known as the Bell System, and during this period, AT&T was also known by the nickname Ma Bell.
In 1982, U.S. regulators broke up the AT&T monopoly, requiring AT&T to divest its local subsidiaries, which it did by grouping them into seven individual companies. These new companies were known as Regional Bell Operating Companies, or more informally, Baby Bells. AT&T continued to operate long-distance services but faced increasing competition from overseas supplied competitors such as MCI and Sprint.
Southwestern Bell Corporation (SBC) was one of the companies created by the breakup of AT&T Corp. The company soon started a series of acquisitions, including the 1987 acquisition of Metromedia mobile business and the acquisition of several cable companies in the early 1990s. In the latter half of the 1990s, the company acquired several other telecommunications companies, including two Baby Bells (Pacific Telesis Group and Ameritech Corporation), while selling its cable business. During this time, the company changed its name to SBC Communications Inc. By 1998, the company was in the top 15 of the Fortune 500, and by 1999 the company was part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (lasting through 2015).
On November 18, 2005, SBC Communications, Inc.based in San Antonio, purchased AT&T Corp. for $16 billion. After this purchase, SBC adopted the better-known AT&T name and brand, with the original AT&T Corp. still existing as the long-distance landline subsidiary of the merged company. The current AT&T Inc. claims the original AT&T Corp.’s history (dating to 1877) as its own, but retains SBC’s 1983-2005 corporate structure and pre-2005 stock price history.
AT&T made an attempt in 2011 to purchase T-Mobile for a $39 billion stock and cash offer. The bid was withdrawn after the takeover company was faced with significant regulatory and legal hurdles, along with heavy resistance from the U.S. government. As per the original acquisition agreement, T-Mobile received $3 billion in cash as well as access to $1 billion worth of AT&T-held wireless spectrum.
In September 2013, AT&T announced it would expand into Latin America through a collaboration with América Móvil. In December 2013, AT&T announced plans to sell its Connecticut wireline operations to Stamford-based Frontier Communications.
AT&T acquired BellSouth Corporation on December 29, 2006 following FCC approval. The transaction consolidated ownership and management of Cingular Wireless. AT&T rebranded its wireless retail stores from Cingular to AT&T in January 2007.
In late 2014, AT&T purchased Mexican cellular carrier Iusacell, and two months later, it purchased the Mexican wireless business of NII Holdings. AT&T merged the two companies to create AT&T Mexico.
In July 2015, AT&T purchased DirecTV for $48.5 billion. AT&T then announced plans to converge its existing U-verse home internet and IPTV brands with DirecTV, to create AT&T Entertainment.
On July 13, 2017, it was reported that AT&T would introduce a cloud-based DVR streaming service as part of its effort to create a unified platform across DirecTV and its DirecTV Now streaming service, with U-verse to be added soon. In October 2018, it was announced that the service would launch in 2019. Named HBO Max, the service's release date was pushed to May 2020.
On September 12, 2017, it was reported that AT&T planned to launch a new cable TV-like service for delivery over-the-top over its own or a competitor's broadband network sometime next year.
On November 20, 2017, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim filed a lawsuit for the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division to block the merger with Time Warner, saying it "will harm competition, result in higher bills for consumers and less innovation." In order for AT&T to fully acquire Time Warner, the Department of Justice stated that the company must divest either DirecTV or Turner Broadcasting System.
As of 2017[update], AT&T is the world's largest telecommunications company. AT&T is also the largest provider of mobile telephone   services and the largest provider of fixed telephone services in the United States.
On March 7, 2018, the company prepared to sell a minority stake of DirecTV Latin America through an IPO, creating a new holding company for those assets named Vrio Corp. However, on April 18, just a day before the public debut of Vrio, AT&T canceled the IPO due to market conditions.
On June 12, 2018, AT&T was given permission by U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon to go ahead with its $85 billion deal for Time Warner. The DOJ had attempted to stop the merger, fearing it would harm competition. The merger closed two days after, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary and division of AT&T with a new name, WarnerMedia, announced the next day. The acquisition of WarnerMedia by AT&T took place on June 15, 2018. Among other key assets, the acquisition of WarnerMedia by AT&T included the Warner Bros. Pictures film and television studios, U.S. cable/satellite channels such as, HBO, WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Group (Adult Swim, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TNT, TruTV, and Turner Classic Movies), and 50% stake in The CW (partnered 50% state in ViacomCBS).
Three months after completing the acquisition, AT&T reorganized into four main units: Communications, including consumer and business wireline telephony, AT&T Mobility, and consumer entertainment video services; WarnerMedia, including Turner cable television networks, Warner Bros. film and television production, and HBO; AT&T Latin America, consisting of wireless service in Mexico and video in Latin America and the Caribbean under the Vrio brand; and Advertising and Analytics, since renamed Xandr.
By 2019, AT&T had developed partnerships with health care providers to develop mobile health-related connectivity devices that aid inpatient care. Key products include a telemetry device that monitors patient metrics, while toggling between WIFI and cellular connectivity.
In September 2019, activist investor Elliott Management revealed that it had purchased $3.2 billion of AT&T stock (a 1.2% equity interest), and had pushed for the company to divest assets to improve its share value.
On March 4, 2020, AT&T announced its intent to perform major cost-cutting moves, including cuts to capital investment, and plans to promote AT&T TV (which officially launched nationally on March 2) as its primary pay television service offering. AT&T will still primarily promote DirecTV "where cable broadband is not prevalent", and as a specialty option.
On April 24, 2020, AT&T announced that effective July 1, 2020, company COO John Stankey would replace Randall L. Stephenson as CEO of AT&T. It was also acknowledged that AT&T's acquisitions of DirecTV and Time Warner had by this point resulted in a massive debt burden of $200 billion for the company.
As a result of planned cost cutting programs, the sale of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Xandr, DirecTV including AT&T U-verse and AT&T TV (30% stake to TPG Capital), Crunchyroll (to Sony Pictures' Funimation), and Rooster Teeth were proposed. The planned sale of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment was abandoned after COVID-19 related growth in the Gaming industry, as well as a positive reception to upcoming DC Comics, Lego Star Wars, and Harry Potter titles from fans and critics. The other subsidiaries are still receiving bids as of September 1, 2020.
On December 25, 2020, a bombing in Nashville, Tennessee, caused AT&T service outages across the U.S., but primarily in Middle Tennessee. Cellular, wireline telephone, Internet, and U-verse television services were affected due to infrastructure damage to an AT&T service facility located near the blast site.
|Formerly||AT&T International, Inc. (2017-2018)|
|Revenue||US$7 billion (2018)|
|Total assets||403,820,000,000 United States dollar (2016)|
Number of employees
In October 2016, AT&T announced a deal to acquire Time Warner worth $85.4 billion (including assumed Time Warner debt). The proposed deal would give AT&T significant holdings in the media industry; AT&T's competitor Comcast had previously acquired NBCUniversal in a similar bid to increase its media holdings, in concert with its ownership of television and internet providers. If approved by federal regulators, the merger would bring Time Warner's properties under the same umbrella as AT&T's telecommunication holdings, including satellite provider DirecTV. 
By the end of July, the company announced that, effective August 1, a new structure was created before the acquisition would close. On September 15, 2017, Reuters reported, citing anonymous sources, that AT&T, the owner of DIRECTV's U.S. and Latin American divisions, had hired an advisor to consider offering AT&T Latin America on the public stock market. In November 2017, the U.S. Justice Department said it was moving to sue to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger. On November 20, 2017, the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit over the acquisition; Makan Delrahim stated that the deal would "greatly harm American consumers". AT&T asserts that this suit is a "radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent". On December 22, 2017, the merger agreement deadline was extended to June 21, 2018. On April 19, 2018, the IPO was cancelled. On June 12, 2018, the AT&T-Time Warner merger was approved by a federal judge. Two days later, AT&T completed the acquisition of Time Warner, and a day later, the company was renamed WarnerMedia.
On September 21, 2018, AT&T reclassified its four principal divisions which include AT&T International which now have some assets moved out like the RSNs, and also merging Consumer Mobility, Technology, and Business Mobility and renamed the company as AT&T Latin America.
In October 2019, AT&T Latin America announced its intention to sell their Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands operations to Liberty Latin America, as a result of shareholder pressure from Elliott Management.
Of the eight companies that were part of the Breakup of the Bell System, these five are a part of the current AT&T:
RBOCs grouped into "Baby Bells" split off in 1984
|Ameritech||Pacific Telesis||Southwestern Bell Corp.|
(later SBC Communications)
|Bell Atlantic||NYNEX||US West|
|AT&T Inc.||Verizon||Lumen Technologies|
The following companies have become defunct or were sold under SBC/AT&T ownership:
Of the Baby Bells, Ameritech sold some of its Wisconsin landlines to CenturyTel, in 1998; BellSouth sold some of its lines to MebTel, during the 2000s; U S WEST sold many historically Bell landlines to Lynch Communications and Pacific Telecom, in the 1990s; Verizon sold many of its New England lines to FairPoint, in 2008, and its West Virginia operations to Frontier Communications, in 2010.
On October 25, 2014, Frontier Communications took over control of the AT&T landline network in Connecticut after being approved by state utility regulators. The deal was worth about $2 billion, and included Frontier inheriting about 2,500 of AT&T's employees and many of AT&T's buildings.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2016)
The company is headquartered at Whitacre Tower in downtown Dallas, Texas. On June 27, 2008, AT&T announced that it would move its corporate headquarters from downtown San Antonio to One AT&T Plaza in downtown Dallas. The company said that it moved to gain better access to its customers and operations throughout the world, and to the key technology partners, suppliers, innovation and human resources needed as it continues to grow, domestically and internationally. AT&T Inc. previously relocated its corporate headquarters to San Antonio from St. Louis, Missouri, in 1992, when it was then named Southwestern Bell Corporation. The company's Telecom Operations group, which serves residential and regional business customers in 22 U.S. states, remains in San Antonio. Atlanta, Georgia, continues to be the headquarters for AT&T Mobility, with significant offices in Redmond, Washington, the former home of AT&T Wireless. Bedminster, New Jersey, is the headquarters for the company's Global Business Services group and AT&T Labs and is where the original AT&T Corp. remains located. St. Louis continues as home to the company's Directory operations, AT&T Advertising Solutions. As announced by its predecessor Time Warner in 2013, WarnerMedia, an AT&T subsidiary acquired in 2016, is headquartered in the 30 Hudson Yards tower, located in New York City.
AT&T also offers services in many locations throughout the Asia Pacific; its regional headquarters is located in Hong Kong. The company is also active in Mexico, and on November 7, 2014, it was announced that Mexican carrier Iusacell would be acquired by AT&T. The acquisition was approved in January 2015. On April 30, 2015, AT&T acquired wireless operations Nextel Mexico from NII Holdings (now AT&T Mexico).
This section needs to be updated.(June 2018)
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, AT&T was the fourteenth-largest donor to United States federal political campaigns and committees from 1989 to 2019, having contributed more than US$84.1 million, 58% of which went to Republicans and 42% of which went to Democrats. As an example, in 2005, AT&T was among 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush. Bill Leahy, representing AT&T, sits on the Private Enterprise Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives that drafts and shares model state-level legislation for distribution among state governments in the United States.
During the period of 1998 to 2019, the company expended US$380.1 million on lobbying in the United States. A key political issue for AT&T has been the question of which businesses win the right to profit by providing broadband internet access in the United States. The company has also lobbied in support of several federal bills. AT&T supported the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2013 (H.R. 3675; 113th Congress), a bill that would make a number of changes to procedures that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) follows in its rulemaking processes. The FCC would have to act in a more transparent way as a result of this bill, forced to accept public input about regulations. AT&T's Executive Vice President of Federal Relations, Tim McKone, said that the bill's "much needed institutional reforms will help arm the agency with the tools to keep pace with the Internet speed of today's marketplace. It will also ensure that outmoded regulatory practices for today's competitive marketplace are properly placed in the dustbin of history."
In May 2018, reports emerged that AT&T made 12 monthly payments between January and December 2017 to Essential Consultants, a company set up by President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, totaling $600,000. Although initial reports on May 8 mentioned only four monthly payments totaling $200,000, documents obtained by the Washington Post on May 10 confirmed the figure of 12 payments, which had begun three days after the President was sworn into office. AT&T confirmed the report the same day. The report from The Washington Post, as well as additional reporting from Bloomberg, revealed the payments had been made for Cohen to "provide guidance" relating to the attempted $85 billion merger with Time Warner, to gain information on the Trump administration's planned tax reforms, as well as about potential changes to net neutrality policies under the new FCC. However, Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai denied Cohen ever inquired about net neutrality on AT&T's behalf. A spokesperson for AT&T said that the company had been contacted by the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller regarding the payments, and had provided all the information requested in November and December 2017.
In 2020 AT&T made at least 327 donations to 133 anti-LGBTQ legislators totaling $204350.
The financial performance of the company is reported to shareholders on an annual basis and a matter of public record. Where performance has been restated, the most recent statement of performance from an annual report is used.
|Revenues (billion USD)||45.38||43.14||40.50||40.79||43.86||63.06||118.9||124.0||122.5||124.8||126.7||127.4||128.8||132.4||146.8||163.8||160.5||170.8||181.2|
|Net Income (billion USD)||7.008||5.653||8.505||5.887||4.786||7.356||11.95||12.87||12.14||19.86||3.944||7.264||18.25||6.224||13.69||13.33||29.85||19.37||13.90|
|Assets (billion USD)||96.42||95.17||102.0||110.3||145.6||270.6||275.6||265.2||268.3||268.5||270.3||272.3||277.8||292.8||402.7||403.8||444.1||531.9||551.7|
|Number of employees (thousands)||193.4||175.0||168.0||162.7||190.0||304.2||309.1||302.7||282.7||266.6||256.4||241.8||243.4||243.6||281.5||268.5||254.0||268.2||247.8|
The company maintains a database of call detail records of all telephone calls that have passed through its network since 1987. AT&T employees work at High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area offices (operated by the Office of National Drug Control Policy) in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Houston so data can be quickly turned over to law enforcement agencies. Records are requested via an administrative subpoena, without the involvement of a court or grand jury.
In September 2007, AT&T changed its legal policy to state that "AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice for conduct that AT&T believes ... (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries." By October 10, 2007, AT&T had altered the terms and conditions for its Internet service to explicitly support freedom of expression by its subscribers, after an outcry claiming the company had given itself the right to censor its subscribers' transmissions.
In 2006, the Electronic Frontier Foundation lodged the class action lawsuit Hepting v. AT&T, which alleged that AT&T had allowed agents of the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor phone and Internet communications of AT&T customers without warrants. If true, this would violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. AT&T has yet to confirm or deny that monitoring by the NSA is occurring. In April 2006, retired former AT&T technician Mark Klein lodged an affidavit supporting this allegation. The Department of Justice stated it would intervene in this lawsuit by means of State Secrets Privilege.
In July 2006, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California – in which the suit was filed – rejected a federal government motion to dismiss the case. The motion to dismiss, which invoked the State Secrets Privilege, had argued that any court review of the alleged partnership between the federal government and AT&T would harm national security. The case was immediately appealed to the Ninth Circuit. It was dismissed on June 3, 2009, citing retroactive legislation in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
In May 2006, USA Today reported that all international and domestic calling records had been handed over to the National Security Agency by AT&T, Verizon, SBC, and BellSouth for the purpose of creating a massive calling database. The portions of the new AT&T that had been part of SBC Communications before November 18, 2005, were not mentioned.
On August 22, 2007, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell confirmed that AT&T was one of the telecommunications companies that assisted with the government's warrantless wire-tapping program on calls between foreign and domestic sources.
On November 8, 2007, Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician, told Keith Olbermann of MSNBC that all Internet traffic passing over AT&T lines was copied into a locked room at the company's San Francisco office – to which only employees with National Security Agency clearance had access.
AT&T keeps for five to seven years a record of who text messages whom and the date and time, but not the content of the messages.
In January 2008, reports emerged that the company planned to begin filtering all Internet traffic which passed through its network for intellectual property violations. Media commentators speculated that if this plan was implemented, it would have led to a mass exodus of subscribers from AT&T, although Internet traffic of non-subscribers may have gone through the company's network anyway. Internet freedom proponents used these developments as justification for government-mandated network neutrality.
Under AT&T’s current copyright enforcement program, content owners may notify AT&T when they allege unlawful sharing of material. The program is based on IP addresses visible to content owners in peer-to-peer networks, not on filtering. AT&T has terminated the broadband service of some customers accused of copyright infringement.
In 2009 AT&T was accused by community media groups of discriminating against local public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable TV channels, by "impictions that will severely restrict the audience".
According to Barbara Popovic, executive director of the Chicago public-access service CAN-TV, the new AT&T U-verse system forced all Public-access television into a special menu system, denying normal functionality such as channel numbers, access to the standard program guide, and DVR recording. The Ratepayer Advocates division of the California Public Utilities Commission reported: "Instead of putting the stations on individual channels, AT&T has bundled community stations into a generic channel that can only be navigated through a complex and lengthy process."
Sue Buske (president of telecommunications consulting firm the Buske Group and a former head of the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers/Alliance for Community Media) argue that this is "an overall attack [...] on public access across the [United States], the place in the dial around cities and communities where people can make their own media in their own communities".
In June 2010, a hacker group known as Goatse Security discovered a vulnerability within AT&T that could allow anyone to uncover email addresses belonging to customers of AT&T 3G service for the Apple iPad. These email addresses could be accessed without a protective password. Using a script, Goatse Security collected thousands of email addresses from AT&T. Goatse Security informed AT&T about the security flaw through a third party. Goatse Security then disclosed around 114,000 of these emails to Gawker Media, which published an article about the security flaw and disclosure in Valleywag. Praetorian Security Group criticized the web application that Goatse Security exploited as "poorly designed".
In April 2015, AT&T was fined $25 million over data security breaches, marking the largest ever fine issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for breaking data privacy laws. The investigation revealed the theft of details of approximately 280,000 people from call centres in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines.
In March 2012, the United States federal government announced a lawsuit against AT&T. The specific accusations state that AT&T "violated the False Claims Act by facilitating and seeking federal payment for IP Relay calls by international callers who were ineligible for the service and sought to use it for fraudulent purposes. The complaint alleges that, out of fears that fraudulent call volume would drop after the registration deadline, AT&T knowingly adopted a non-compliant registration system that did not verify whether the user was located within the United States. The complaint further contends that AT&T continued to employ this system even with the knowledge that it facilitated the use of IP Relay by fraudulent foreign callers, which accounted for up to 95 percent of AT&T's call volume. The government's complaint alleges that AT&T improperly billed the TRS Fund for reimbursement of these calls and received millions of dollars in federal payments as a result." In 2013, AT&T entered into a consent decree with the FCC and paid a total of $21.75 million.
On April 28, 2015, AT&T announced that it had fired Aaron Slator, President of Content and Advertising Sales, for sending racist text messages. Slator was also hit with a $100 million discrimination lawsuit, filed by African-American employee Knoyme King. The day before that, protesters arrived at AT&T's headquarters in Dallas and its satellite offices in Los Angeles as well as at the home of CEO Randall Stephenson to protest alleged systemic racial policies. According to accounts, the protesters demanded that AT&T begin working with 100% black-owned media companies.
On January 24, 2017, Slator sued AT&T in the Los Angeles Superior Court, accusing the company of defamation and wrongful termination. Slator had been involved in organizing AT&T's planned $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV since 2014, and he claimed that when news headlines speculated that his text messages could prevent the acquisition from going through, he was fired as a "scapegoat" by company executives. He also claimed that the executives had known about the text messages since at least late 2013, and had promised him at the time that he would not be fired for them. The company stood by its decision to terminate Slator.
In 2020 AT&T paid out $48 million to settle a lawsuit with 30 government entities. The suit (under the California False Claims Act) related to contractual undertakings to provide services at "the lowest cost available". AT&T denied any wrongdoing in the matter.
AT&T (USA) Revenue – 172890000 in thousands, USD. The American multinational, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is the largest provider of landline and the second largest provider of mobile services.
Southwestern Bell Telephone Company has about 20 predecessor companies. The four largest of these were American District Telegraph Company, formed in St. Louis, Missouri 1878; the Kansas City Telephone Exchange, formed in Kansas City, Missouri in 1879, Southwestern Telegraph & Telephone Company, which began serving Texas and Arkansas in 1881; and Pioneer Telephone & Telegraph Company, which provided telephone service beginning in 1904 in Oklahoma – not then a state, but known as Indian Territory – and in parts of Kansas.
In 1917, the four companies began moving toward a more formal merge, with the Missouri & Kansas Telephone Company – the new name of the Kansas City Telephone Exchange – acquiring Bell Telephone Company of Missouri, successor to American District Telegraph. The resulting company was named Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (Missouri). In 1920 this company bought Southwestern Telephone & Telegraph and Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (Oklahoma), the successor to Pioneer Telephone & Telegraph, establishing the new Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, which was a subsidiary of AT&T.
After the success of Bell’s experiments, which resulted in the basic Bell patents of 1876 and 1877, a new company was organized for the purpose of commercial exploitation. The Bell Telephone Company, a Massachusetts voluntary association, was formed on July 9, 1877, with Gardiner G. Hubbard as trustee.
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company was, therefore, incorporated in New York in 1885, as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone Company, to operate long-distance telephone lines…In 1899, American Bell sold all of its assets to its subsidiary, AT&T…As a result of this transaction, AT&T emerged as the parent company in the Bell System, assuming the holding-company functions previously exercised by American Bell Telephone Company.
With increasing demands for telephones, the financial needs of the Bell System were expanding. To meet these needs, a new corporation, the American Bell Telephone Company, was created by a special act of the Massachusetts legislature… The American Telephone and Telegraph Company was, therefore, incorporated in New York in 1885, as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone Company, to operate long-distance telephone lines, and Vail became its first president.
In 1899, American Bell sold all of its assets (except A.T.&T. stock) to its subsidiary, A.T.&T. It then offered to its stockholders two shares of the A.T.&T. stock which hit held, in exchange for one share of American Bell stock. As a result of this transaction, A.T.&T. emerged as the parent company in the Bell System, assuming the holding-company functions previously exercised by American Bell Telephone Company.
AT&T is asking shareholders to change its official name from American Telephone & Telegraph Co. to AT&T Corp. at the annual meeting April 20 in Atlanta.
Under the antitrust settlement A.T.& T. signed with the Justice Department in January 1982, the divested organizations not only will be local telephone carriers, but, with certain restrictions, they will have the right to enter other businesses as well.
The 7 Holding Companies. The seven regional holding companies that will result from the breakup of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company are sketched here, with a brief outline of their potential strengths and weaknesses.
Southwestern Bell, stretching from Arkansas through Texas into Missouri, will have only one existing local operating company, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, under it, saving it any pains of integration.
In 1995, the former Bell company took on the SBC Communications name.
SBC will unveil a new AT&T logo Monday as it outlines plans for changing the name of the merged company…The combined company will adopt AT&T's stock symbol, T, on the New York Stock Exchange beginning Dec. 1.
The whirlwind began in 1997, when Southwestern Bell Corp. (SBC) merged with fellow Baby Bell Pacific Telesis. Two years later, SBC bought Ameritech, another Baby Bell. Then, the craziness really started when SBC bought Ma Bell -- its former parent company -- in 2005. The combined company renamed itself AT&T. A year later, the new AT&T bought BellSouth, yet another Baby Bell. The new AT&T also bought Cingular Wireless in 2006 -- a company jointly run by Baby Bells SBC and BellSouth that had bought the old AT&T Wireless in 2004. Cingular then changed its name to AT&T Mobility. Got all that? The merger history of these five Baby Bells is dizzying and better explained visually.
Early in 1881, the American Bell Telephone Company – as it came to be called beginning in March 1880 – issued its first annual report to stockholders.
1885 - The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is created as a subsidiary of Bell Telephone to build and operate a long-distance telephone network.
Accordingly, the American Bell management bad farewell to Boston and gradually moved its offices to downtown Manhattan, and on December 30, 1899 – the next-to-last day of the old century – AT&T, with a new capitalization of over seventy million dollars, became the parent company of the Bell System, which, of course, it has remained ever since.
In 1913, the U.S. filed an antitrust lawsuit against AT&T to break up its growing monopoly in the phone service market. While Congress contemplated nationalizing the long distance telephone network, AT&T settled the antitrust lawsuit with the Kingsbury Commitment. In the Kingsbury Commitment, AT&T agreed to allow independent local telephone companies to interconnect with AT&T’s long distance network, divest Western Union, and refrain from purchasing other companies if the Interstate Commerce Commission objected.
The local companies, grouped into seven regional holding companies, will provide local telephone service and can sell, but not manufacture, telephone equipment.
After Congress de-regulated the telecommunications industry in February 1996, allowing regional companies to compete with long distance carriers, among other rule changes, SBC began to expand. In 1996 it merged with Pacific Telesis Group, and in 1998 the company bought the Ameritech Corporation.
Apple Inc AAPL.O, the largest U.S. company by market value, will join the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI, replacing AT&T Inc T.N, in a change that reflects the dominant position of the iPhone maker in the U.S. consumer economy.
SBC Communications Inc. completed its acquisition of AT&T Corp. on Friday after California regulators approved the $16 billion deal.
SBC Communications last night was close to concluding a $16 billion deal for its former parent, AT&T, that would lead to the virtual disappearance of one of America's best known corporate icons and set off what promises to be a new round of competition between the Baby Bells, executives close to the negotiations said.
The Bell Telephone Company, a Massachusetts voluntary association, was formed on July 9, 1877, with Gardiner G. Hubbard as trustee.
Federal regulators approved AT&T’s $85.8 billion acquisition of BellSouth yesterday, allowing the companies to close their delayed deal.
Now four of the seven companies that were spun off from the original AT&T in 1984 are back under one roof, and it includes 66.1 million telephone lines, 58.7 million Cingular Wireless customers and 11.6 million high-speed Internet customers.
But in the long term, Mr. Lerman said, AT&T will benefit from the efficiency of having its well-known name appear on all its services. AT&T executives wouldn't say how much the rebranding will cost as they change signs in roughly 2,000 stores as well as employee uniforms and billing letterhead. But executives estimate 20% of the expected operating-expense savings from the merger will come from advertising, because of the single AT&T brand.
AT&T Inc. hired a company insider to succeed longtime finance chief John Stephens once he retires at the end of March, in the latest change of guard within the company’s leadership over the past year. The Dallas-based telecommunications company Tuesday said Pascal Desroches would become chief financial officer April 1. Mr. Desroches is now CFO of AT&T’s WarnerMedia division and previously worked in various finance roles at the entertainment company.
2002 Operating Revenues - $43,138 (dollars in millions
2005 Net Income - $4,786 (dollars in millions
2009 Net Income (Loss) Attributable to AT&T - $12,138 (dollars in millions
2010 Net Income (Loss) Attributable to AT&T - $19,864 (dollars in millions
In June of 2009, a federal judge dismissed Hepting and dozens of other lawsuits against telecoms. EFF appealed that decision but it was affirmed, and in October, 2012, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
T-Mobile USA doesn't keep any information on Web browsing activity. Verizon, on the other hand, keeps some information for up to a year that can be used to ascertain if a particular phone visited a particular Web site. According to the sheet, Sprint Nextel Corp.'s Virgin Mobile brand keeps the text content of text messages for three months. Verizon keeps it for three to five days. None of the other carriers keep texts at all, but they keep records of who texted who for more than a year. The document says AT&T keeps for five to seven years a record of who text messages who —and when, but not the content of the messages. Virgin Mobile only keeps that data for two to three months.
Content owners notified us when they believed they had evidence that an Internet account was sharing copyrighted material unlawfully. Based on the notices we received, we identified the customer on the account and share[d] with them the information we received. We also reached out to the customer to educate them about copyright infringement and offer assistance to help prevent the activity from continuing. A small number of customers who continue to receive additional copyright infringement notifications from content owners despite our efforts to educate them will have their service discontinued. When files are distributed on the Internet over peer-to-peer networks, the IP address associated with a subscriber's account is visible by design to other users on the network. Content owners provide these IP addresses to AT&T along with additional information about the content that was allegedly shared by that IP address.
On May 7, 2013, AT&T entered into a consent decree with the FCC that resolved allegations based on conduct related to the subject matter of today’s settlement. Pursuant to that consent decree, AT&T paid a total of $18.25 million. Under the settlement announced today, AT&T has agreed to pay an additional $3.5 million to resolve its remaining liability under the False Claims Act.
Diversity and inclusion are important core values to us," the statement said. "We stand behind our decision to terminate Mr. Slator and are confident that his baseless allegations will ultimately be rejected.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to AT&T.|