The American Telephone & Telegraph Company, in its later years simply AT&T Corporation, provided voice, video, data, and Internet telecommunications and professional services to businesses, consumers, and government agencies. During its long history, AT&T was at times the world's largest telephone company, the world's largest cable television operator, and a regulated monopoly.
The Wikipedia page can be seen in its entirety at wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Telephone_%26_Telegraph_Company. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details)
At its peak, it employed one million people and its revenue was roughly $300 billion annually in today's dollars (for comparison, ExxonMobil's 2006 annual revenue was $377.6 billion). In 2005, AT&T was purchased by "Baby Bell" SBC Communications for more than $16 billion, who then changed its own name from SBC to AT&T Inc. The original AT&T Corporation continues to legally exist as a subsidiary of of AT&T Inc.
Company formation and expansion
AT&T's lines and metallic circuit connections.
March 1, 1891.The formation of the Bell Telephone Company superseded an agreement between Alexander Graham Bell and his financiers, principal among them Gardiner Greene Hubbard and Thomas Sanders. Renamed the National Bell Telephone Company in March 1879, it became the American Bell Telephone Company in March 1880. By 1881, it had bought a controlling interest in the Western Electric Company from Western Union. Only three years earlier, Western Union had turned down Gardiner Hubbard's offer to sell it all rights to the telephone for $100,000.
In 1880, the management of American Bell created what would become AT&T Long Lines. The project was the first of its kind to create a nationwide long-distance network with a commercially viable cost-structure. This project was formally incorporated into a separate company christened American Telephone and Telegraph Company on March 3, 1885. Starting from New York the network reached Chicago, Illinois in 1892.
Bell's patent on the telephone expired in 1894, but the company's much larger customer base made its service much more valuable than alternatives and substantial growth continued.
On 1899-12-30, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company bought the assets of American Bell; this was because Massachusetts corporate laws were very restrictive, and limited capitalization to ten million dollars, forestalling the growth of American Bell itself.
National long distance service reached San Francisco in 1915. Transatlantic services started in 1927 using two-way radio, but the first trans-Atlantic telephone cable did not arrive until 1956, with TAT-1.
A national monopoly
As a result of a combination of regulatory actions by government and actions by AT&T, the firm eventually gained what most regard as monopoly status. In 1907, AT&T president Theodore Vail made it known that he was pursuing a goal of "One Policy, One System, Universal Service." AT&T began purchasing competitors, which attracted the attention of antitrust regulators. To avoid antitrust action, in a deal with the government, Vail agreed to the Kingsbury Commitment of 1913. The terms of the agreement allowed AT&T to purchase independent phone companies as long as it sold an equal amount of telephone devices. G.W. Brock says in Telephone:The First Hundred Years, "This provision allowed Bell and the independents to exchange telephones in order to give each other geographical monopolies. So long as only one company served a given geographical area there was little reason to expect price competition to take place." AT&T focused on purchasing companies within specific geographic areas that increased its effective control of the telephone system market, while selling its less-desirable and previously acquired companies to independent buyers. Also included in the Kingsbury Commitment was the requirement that AT&T allow competitors to connect through its phone lines. Economists point out that this reduced the incentive of these companies to build competing long-distance lines.
Around 1917, the idea that everyone in the country should have phone service and that the government should promote that began being discussed in government. AT&T agreed, saying in a 1917 annual report: "A combination of like activities under proper control and regulation, the service to the public would be better, more progressive, efficient, and economical than competitive systems." In 1918 the federal government nationalized the entire telecommunications industry, with national security as the stated intent. Rates were regulated so that customers in large cities would pay higher rates to subsidize those in more remote areas. Vail was appointed to manage the telephone system with AT&T being paid a percentage of the telephone revenues. AT&T profited well from the nationalization arrangement which ended a year later. States then began regulating rates so that those in rural areas would not have to pay high prices, and competition was highly regulated or prohibited in local markets. Also, potential competitors were forbidden from installing new lines to compete, with state governments wishing to avoid "duplication." The claim was that telephone service was a "natural monopoly," meaning that one firm could better serve the public than two or more. Eventually, AT&T's market share amounted to what most would regard as a monopolistic share.
In 1913, after vacuum-tube inventor Lee De Forest began to suffer financial difficulties, AT&T bought De Forest's vacuum-tube patents for the bargain price of $50,000. In particular, AT&T acquired ownership of the 'Audion', the first triode (three-element) vacuum tube, which greatly amplified telephone signals. The patent increased AT&T's control over the manufacture and distribution of long-distance telephone services, and allowed the Bell System to build the United States's first coast-to coast telephone line. Thanks to the pressures of World War I, AT&T and RCA owned all useful patents on vacuum tubes. RCA staked a position in wireless communication; AT&T pursued the use of tubes in telephone amplifiers. Some patent allies and partners in RCA were angered when the two companies' research on tubes began to overlap, and there were many patent disputes.
AT&T, RCA, and their patent allies and partners finally settled their disputes in 1926 by compromise. AT&T decided to focus on the telephone business as a communications common carrier, and sold its broadcasting subsidiary Broadcasting Corporation of America to RCA. The assets included station WEAF, which for some time had broadcast from AT&T headquarters in New York City. In return, RCA signed a service agreement with AT&T, ensuring any radio network RCA started would have transmission connections provided by AT&T. Both companies agreed to cross-license patents, ending that aspect of the dispute. RCA, GE, and Westinghouse were now free to combine their assets to form the National Broadcasting Company, or NBC network.
In 1925, AT&T created a new unit called Bell Telephone Laboratories, commonly known as Bell Labs. This research and development unit proved highly successful, pioneering, among other things, radio astronomy, the transistor, the photovoltaic cell, the Unix operating system, and the C programming language. However, its parent company did not always capitalize on these achievements. In 1949 the Justice Department filed an antitrust suit aimed at forcing the divestiture of Western Electric, which was settled seven years later by AT&T's agreement to confine its products and services to common carrier telecommunications and license its patents to "all interested parties". A key effect of this was to ban AT&T from selling computers despite its key role in electronics research and development.
Public utility commissions in all state and local jurisdictions regulated the Bell System and all the other telephone companies. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulated all service across state lines. These commissions controlled the rates that companies could charge, and the specific services and equipment they could offer. Nonetheless, technological innovation continued. For example, AT&T commissioned the first experimental communications satellite, Telstar I in 1962.
AT&T increased its control of the telephone system through its leasing arrangements for telephones and telephone equipment made by its subsidiary, Western Electric. Like most telephones of the time in the United States, Western Electric-made phones were owned not by individual customers, but by local Bell System telephone companies all of which were in turn owned by AT&T, which also owned Western Electric itself. Each phone was leased from AT&T on a monthly basis by customers, who generally paid for their phone and its connection many times over in cumulative lease fees. This monopoly made millions of extra dollars for AT&T, which had the secondary effect of greatly limiting phone choices and styles. AT&T strictly enforced policies against buying and using phones by other manufacturers that had not first been transferred to and re-rented from the local Bell monopoly. Many phones made by Western Electric thus carried the following disclaimer permanently molded into their housings: "BELL SYSTEM PROPERTY NOT FOR SALE." Telephones were also labeled with a sticker marking the Bell Operating Company that owned the telephone.
In 1968 the Federal Communications Commission allowed the Carterfone and other devices to be connected directly to the AT&T network, as long as they did not cause damage to the system. This ruling (13 F.C.C.2d 420) created the possibility of selling devices that could connect to the phone system and opened up the market to numerous products, including answering machines, fax machines, cordless phones, computer modems and the early, dialup Internet.
In the 1980s, after some consumers began buying phones from other manufacturers anyway, AT&T changed its policy by selling customers the phone's housing, retaining ownership of the mechanical components which still required paying AT&T a monthly leasing fee.
For most of the 20th century, AT&T subsidiary AT&T Long Lines thus enjoyed a near-total monopoly on long distance telephone service in the United States. AT&T also controlled 22 Bell Operating Companies which provided local telephone service to most of the United States. While there were many "independent telephone companies", General Telephone being the most significant, the Bell System was far larger than all the others, and widely considered a monopoly itself.
Erosion of "a natural monopoly"
For many years, AT&T had been permitted to retain its monopoly status under the assumption that it was a natural monopoly. The first erosion to this monopoly occurred in 1956 where the Hush-a-Phone v. FCC ruling allowed a third-party device to be attached to rented telephones owned by AT&T. This was followed by the 1968 Carterphone decision that allowed third-party equipment to be connected to the AT&T telephone network. The rise of cheap microwave communications equipment in the 1960s and 1970s opened a window of opportunity for competitors no longer was the acquisition of expensive rights-of-way necessary for the construction of a long-distance telephone network. In light of this, the FCC permitted MCI (Microwave Communications, Inc) to sell communication services to large businesses. This technical-economic argument against the necessity of AT&T's monopoly position would hold for a mere fifteen years until the beginning of the fiber-optics revolution sounded the end of microwave-based long distance.
Break up, spinoffs and restructuring
The rest of the telephone monopoly lasted until final settlement of a 1974 United States Department of Justice antitrust suit against AT&T on 1982-01-08, under which AT&T ("Ma Bell") agreed to divest its local exchange service operating companies, in return for a chance to go into the computer business (see AT&T Computer Systems). AT&T's local operations were split into seven independent Regional Bell Operating Companies known as "Baby Bells".
With the American consumer's new ability to purchase phones outright, AT&T and the Bell System lost the considerable revenues earned from phone leasing by local Bell companies. The leasing program has never ended, however, and some elderly customers are still paying a monthly rental fee on AT&T-owned phones in their homes. Forced to compete with other manufacturers for new phone sales, the aging Western Electric phone designs still marketed through AT&T failed to sell, and Western Electric eventually closed all of its U.S. phone manufacturing plants. AT&T, reduced in value by about 70%, continued to run all its long distance services through AT&T Communications (the new name of AT&T Long Lines), although it lost some market share in the ensuing years to competitors MCI and Sprint Corporation.
A sign that hung in many Bell facilities in 1983 read:
There are two giant entities at work in our country, and they both have an amazing influence on our daily lives... one has given us radar, sonar, stereo, teletype, the transistor, hearing aids, artificial larynxes, talking movies, and the telephone. The other has given us the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment, the Great Depression, the gasoline crisis, and the Watergate fiasco. Guess which one is now trying to tell the other one how to run its business?
Western Electric was fully absorbed into AT&T as AT&T Technologies, and was divided into several units focused on specific customer groups, such as AT&T Network Systems and AT&T Consumer Products.
After its own attempt to penetrate the computer marketplace failed, in 1991, AT&T absorbed NCR Corporation (National Cash Register), hoping to capitalize on the burgeoning personal computer and UNIX networked server markets, but was unable to extract lasting financial or technological gains from the merger. After deregulation of the U.S. telecom industry via the Telecommunications Act of 1996, NCR was divested again. At the same time, the majority of AT&T Technologies and the renowned Bell Laboratories was spun off as Lucent Technologies. The industry as a whole had many other reorganizations since the 1990s, both due to deregulation and because of technological advances reducing demand and pricing power in telecommunications.
In 1994, AT&T purchased the largest cellular carrier, McCaw Communications, for $11.5 billion and kick-started its cellular division with 2 million subscribers.
In 1995, AT&T purchased long-distance provider Alaska Communications System (Alascom). FCC approval required the company be run as an AT&T subsidiary rather than a more likely absorption into AT&T Communications, giving the company the AT&T Alascom name. The buyout marked the first time that any company with Bell roots would hold operations in the non-contiguous United States.
In 1997, AT&T hired former IBM executive C Michael Armstrong as its chief executive officer. Armstrong's vision was to change AT&T from a long-distance carrier into a global "telecommunications supermarket", eyeing Internet services for the booming dot-com industry.
Armstrong's most prominent strategy was buying significant cable television assets. After acquiring John Malone's TCI and Media One (gaining through the latter a 25% share of Time Warner Cable), AT&T was the largest provider of cable television in the United States. It intended to use these assets to bridge the so-called "last mile" and break the Regional Bell Companies' access-monopoly of the consumer household for data and telephony services, but the wager was costly, substantially increasing the company's debt. AT&T acquired TCI in a $48 billion all-stock transaction including the assumption of $16 billion of debt. AT&T acquired MediaOne for $54 billion in cash and stock, after a bidding war with Comcast.
In 1998, AT&T announced a $1 billion alliance with BT to offer global voice over IP (VoIP) services, called Concert, sparking rumors of a potential merger. But the parties fought for control of the project and could not even agree on the alliance's name. By mid-2001, customers were being directed to sign contracts with the parent companies, and Concert Communications Services, as the venture was eventually known, was scrapped in October that year.
In 1999, AT&T acquired the Olivetti & Oracle Research Lab, from Olivetti and Oracle Corporation. In 2002, it closed down the research part of the lab.
Also in 1999, AT&T paid $5 billion to purchase IBM's Global Network business, which became AT&T Global Network Services, LLC. As part of the purchase agreement, IBM granted AT&T a five-year, US$5-billion contract to handle much of IBM's networking needs, and AT&T outsourced some of its applications processing and data management work to IBM. IBM also committed to billing and installation for AT&T's long-distance customers in a 10-year deal valued at $4 billion; and assumed management of AT&T's data processing centers.
With long-distance rates falling and the market for telecommunications services overall weakening, AT&T could not sustain the debt it had incurred in these ventures. Moreover, the cost of upgrading TCI's equipment to handle two-way communications proved far higher than pre-merger estimates. AT&T undertook a major reorganization in October 2000, moving its mobile phone and broadband units into separate companies, to allow each unit to raise capital independently.
On 2001-07-09 it spun off AT&T Wireless Corp. in what was then the world's largest initial public offering (IPO). Later that year it spun off AT&T Broadband and Liberty Media, which comprised its cable TV assets. AT&T Broadband was subsequently acquired by Comcast in 2002, and AT&T Wireless merged with Cingular Wireless LLC in 2004.
In 2004, the U.S. government eliminated equal access regulations that allowed long-distance phone companies to access the networks owned by the regional Bell carriers at fixed rates. This ultimately caused AT&T to move away from the residential telephone business declaring in the process that it would no longer market residential telephone service. Instead, its residential focus shifted to offering a voice service over a broadband Internet connection called AT&T CallVantage.
Acquisition by SBC
On January 31, 2005, Baby Bell SBC Communications announced its plans to acquire "Ma Bell" AT&T Corp. for $16 billion. SBC announced in October 2005 that it would shed the "SBC" brand and take the AT&T brand along with the "T" NYSE ticker symbol.
Merger approval concluded on 2005-11-18; SBC Communications began rebranding the following Monday, November 21 as "AT&T Inc." and began trading as AT&T on December 1 under the "T" symbol. The original AT&T corporate entity, founded in 1885, became a subsidiary of the new AT&T Inc. However, this is not the first time it has existed as a subsidiary; in its founding it was a subsidiary of the American Bell Telephone Company.
From 1885 to 1910, AT&T was headquartered at 125 Milk St in Boston. With its expansion it moved to New York City, to a headquarters on 195 Broadway (close to what is now the World Trade Center site). The property originally belonged to Western Union, of which AT&T held a controlling interest until 1913 when AT&T divested its interest as part of the Kingsbury Commitment. Construction of the current building began in 1912. Designed by William Welles Bosworth, who played a significant role in designing Kykuit, the Rockefeller mansion north of Tarrytown, New York, it was a modern steel structure clad top to bottom in a Greek-styled exterior, the three-story-high Ionic columns of Vermont granite forming eight registers over a Doric base. The lobby of the AT&T Building was one of the most unusual ones of the era. Instead of a large double-high space, similar to the nearby Woolworth Building, Bosworth designed what is called a "hypostyle hall," with full-bodied Doric columns modeled on the Parthenon, marking out a grid. Bosworth was seeking to coordinate the classical tradition with the requirements of a modern building. Columns were not merely the decorative elements they had become in the hands of other architects but created all the illusion of being real supports. Bosworth also designed the campus of MIT as well as Theodore N. Vail's mansion in Morristown, New Jersey.
In 1978, AT&T commissioned a new building at 550 Madison Ave. This new AT&T Building was designed by Philip Johnson and quickly became an icon of the new Postmodern architectural style. The building was completed in 1984, the very year of the divestiture of the Bell System. The building proved to be too large for the post-divestiture corporation and in 1993 AT&T leased the building to Sony, who now owns it.
A division of AT&T, the Lucky Dog Phone Company provided a pay-as-you-go long distance phone service for in-state, state-to-state, and international calls with charges added to the caller's regular monthly phone bill. Under the name 10-10-345, Lucky Dog sponsored the #45 Winston Cup car driven by Rich Bickle in 1999.
AT&T was also known as "Ma Bell" and affectionately called "Mother" by phone phreaks. During some strikes by its employees, picketers would wear t-shirts reading, "Ma Bell is a real mother." It is worth noting too that, before the break-up, recognition of the name AT&T was not extremely high, prompting the company to launch an advertising campaign after the break-up to increase its name recognition. Spinoffs like the Regional Bell Operating Companies or RBOCs were often called "Baby Bells". Ironically, "Ma Bell" was acquired by one of its "Baby Bells", SBC Communications, in 2005.
The AT&T Globe Symbol, the corporate logo designed by Saul Bass in 1983, has been nicknamed the Death Star in reference to Star Wars. This name was also given to the titanic Bell Labs facility in Holmdel, New Jersey, now owned by Alcatel-Lucent.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is the largest provider of both local and long distance telephone services, wireless service, and DSL Internet access in the United States. AT&T is based in San Antonio, Texas, United States. Formerly SBC Communications, Inc., the company shed its name and took on the iconic AT&T moniker and the T stock-trading symbol (for "telephone") after its acquisition of American Telephone & Telegraph Company (later known as AT&T Corporation).
Since the break-up of AT&T Corp. in 1984, most of the companies spun off from it (the "Baby Bells") have merged into three major US telecommunications groups: Verizon, Qwest, and AT&T Inc. Most of these companies are made up primarily of former components of AT&T Corp. For the new AT&T, these include many Bell Operating Companies and the long distance division. The new AT&T lacks the vertical integration of the historic AT&T Corp. which prompted the antitrust suit and breakup in 1984.
AT&T Inc. was founded in 1983 as Southwestern Bell Corporation, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. It was one of the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies, or "Baby Bells." The company a holding company for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company was created as a result of U.S. antitrust action against American Telephone & Telegraph Company in 1983. It took full control of Southwestern Bell Telephone on January 1, 1984.
In 1993, Southwestern Bell Corp. moved its headquarters to San Antonio, Texas, and, during its annual meeting of stockholders in 1995, the company announced that its name would be changed to SBC Communications, Inc. The name change was an effort to reinforce the company's national and global reach and the company not only stated that "SBC" wasn't an acronym for Southwestern Bell Corporation, but that it did not stand for anything at all.
SBC then proceeded (as permitted by the Telecommunications Act of 1996) to acquire fellow Baby Bell Pacific Telesis, the Regional Bell operating company serving Nevada and California, in 1997 and the former independent Bell System franchise SNET (Southern New England Telephone).
SBC then announced plans to acquire Ameritech, the Regional Bell operating company serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, and told the FCC that it would allow competitors access to local markets where it had had a monopoly if the FCC would allow them to acquire Ameritech. The FCC agreed and in May 1998, SBC and Ameritech announced the merger would move forward. After making several organizational changes (such as the sale of Ameritech Wireless to GTE) to satisfy state and Federal regulators, the two merged on October 8, 1999. The FCC later fined SBC Communications $6 million for failure to comply with agreements made in order to secure approval of the merger.
On November 1, 1999, SBC became a part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In 2002, SBC ended marketing its operating companies under different names, and simply opted to give its companies different doing business as names based on the state (a practice already in use by Ameritech since 1993), and it gave the holding companies it had purchased d/b/a names based on their general region.
AT&T Corporation acquisition
On January 31, 2005, SBC announced that it would purchase AT&T Corp. for more than $16 billion. The announcement came almost 8 years after SBC and AT&T called off their first merger talks and nearly a year after initial merger talks between AT&T and BellSouth fell apart. AT&T stockholders, meeting in Denver, approved the merger on June 30, 2005. The U.S. Department of Justice cleared the merger on October 27, 2005, and the Federal Communications Commission approved it on October 31, 2005. The merger was finalized on November 18, 2005. SBC changed its corporate name to AT&T Inc., and it adopted an updated logo.
On December 1, 2005 the combined company began trading under the historic "T" stock ticker symbol on the NYSE. To differentiate from the preceding company, AT&T is formally known as "AT&T Inc.", while the preceding company was "AT&T Corp."
On Friday December 29, 2006, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the acquisition of BellSouth valued at approximately $86 billion (or 1.325 shares of AT&T for each share of BellSouth at the close of trading December 29, 2006). The new combined company retained the name AT&T. The deal consolidated ownership of both Cingular Wireless and Yellowpages.com, once joint ventures between BellSouth and AT&T. All services, including wireless, are currently offered under the AT&T name. Almost one year after the merger AT&T is still giving out bellsouth.net addresses to new internet customers and promoting the Bellsouth Mastercard product. The technical helpdesks know of no plan to convert to a system-wide rollout of att.net addresses one year after merger and 2 years since planning for this merger began.
Transition to new media
New Chairman and CEO, Randall Stephenson, discussed how wireless services are the core of "The New AT&T". With declining sales of traditional home phone lines, AT&T plans to roll out various new medias such as VideoShare, U-verse, and to extend its reach in High Speed Internet into rural areas across the country. He also has stated that AT&T will not make any more acquisitions for the time being. AT&T announced on June 29, 2007, however, that it was acquiring Dobson Communications. It was then reported on October 2, 2007 that AT&T would purchase Interwise for $121 million, which it completed on November 2, 2007. On October 9, 2007, AT&T purchased 12MHZ of spectrum in the prime 700MHz spectrum band from privately-held Aloha Partners for nearly to $2.5 billion.
Bell Operating Companies
Of the twenty-two Bell Operating Companies which AT&T owned prior to the 1984 agreement to divest, eleven (BellSouth Telecommunications combines two former BOCs) have become a part of the new AT&T Inc. with the completion of their acquisition of BellSouth Corporation on December 29, 2006:
BellSouth Telecommunications (formerly known as Southern Bell and South Central Bell)
Nevada Bell (formerly known as Bell Telephone Company of Nevada)
Pacific Bell (formerly Pacific Telephone & Telegraph)
Wisconsin Bell (formerly Wisconsin Telephone)
AT&T owns the following operating companies not considered a Bell Operating Company:
Southern New England Telephone Now wholly owned, the original AT&T held 16.8% interest prior to 1984.
Former operating companies
The following companies have gone to defunct status under SBC/AT&T ownership:
Southwestern Bell Texas - a separate operating company created by SBC and merged back into SWBT on December 30, 2001.
Woodbury Telephone - merged into Southern New England Telephone on June 1, 2007.
"Doing business as" names
On January 15, 2006, AT&T began using new "doing business as" names for its Bell Operating Companies and their holding companies. The following d/b/a list shows the d/b/a names of each company, with its true legal name in parentheses, listed in order of acquisition. Holding companies are listed in bold; the only exception is Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P., which is not a holding company, as it has always been directly held by AT&T Inc. since its inception as Southwestern Bell Corporation.
AT&T Corporation and its holdings have been omitted, as its companies continue to do business under their legal name.
AT&T Southwest (Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P. as a whole)
AT&T Arkansas (Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P.)
AT&T Kansas (Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P.)
AT&T Missouri (Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P.)
AT&T Oklahoma (Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P.)
AT&T Texas (Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P.)
AT&T West (Pacific Telesis Group)
AT&T California (Pacific Bell Telephone Company)
AT&T Nevada (Nevada Bell Telephone Company)
AT&T East (Southern New England Telecommunications Corporation)
AT&T Connecticut (The Southern New England Telephone Company)
AT&T Midwest (AT&T Teleholdings, Inc.)
AT&T Illinois (Illinois Bell Telephone Company)
AT&T Indiana (Indiana Bell Telephone Company)
AT&T Michigan (Michigan Bell Telephone Company)
AT&T Ohio (The Ohio Bell Telephone Company)
AT&T Wisconsin (Wisconsin Bell, Inc.)
AT&T South (BellSouth Corporation)
AT&T Southeast (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. as a whole)
AT&T Alabama (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.)
AT&T Florida (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.)
AT&T Georgia (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.)
AT&T Kentucky (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.)
AT&T Louisiana (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.)
AT&T Mississippi (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.)
AT&T North Carolina (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.)
AT&T South Carolina (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.)
AT&T Tennessee (BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.)
AT&T's current board mainly consists of members of SBC's board of directors.
Randall L. Stephenson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
James A. Henderson
Gilbert F. Amelio
William F. Aldinger III
August A. Busch III
Martin K. Eby, Jr.
Charles F. Knight
Jon C. Madonna
Lynn M. Martin
Ronald M. Crump
John B. McCoy
Mary S. Metz
S. Donley Ritchey
Joyce M. Roche
Laura D'Andrea Tyson
Patricia P. Upton
Contributions to political campaigns
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, AT&T is the United States' second largest donor to political campaigns, having contributed more than US$ 36 million since 1990, 56% and 44% of which went to Republican and Democratic recipients, respectively. A key political issue for AT&T is the question of which businesses win the right to profit by providing broadband internet access in the United States.
On December 3, 2007, AT&T announced it would remove all of its 65,000 remaining payphones by the end of 2008. BellSouth already had removed its payphones years before being acquired by AT&T, and Qwest sold its pay telephone services in 2004. Verizon Communications will be the only Baby Bell that will continue to operate pay telephones following the removal of AT&T pay telephones, and currently has no interest leaving the business.
Places/events/partners named after AT&T
The AT&T Center in San Antonio
AT&T Bricktown Ballpark Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (formerly Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark, SBC Bricktown Ballpark)
AT&T Center San Antonio, Texas (formerly SBC Center)
AT&T Champions Classic Valencia, California
AT&T Classic Atlanta, Georgia (formerly BellSouth Classic)
AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic (formerly Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic, Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic, SBC Cotton Bowl Classic) played in Dallas, Texas, at the Cotton Bowl stadium.
AT&T Field Chattanooga, Tennessee (formerly BellSouth Park)
AT&T Plaza Dallas, Texas (the new plaza in front of the American Airlines Center at Victory Plaza)
AT&T Park San Francisco, California (formerly Pacific Bell Park, SBC Park)
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
AT&T Red River Rivalry Dallas, Texas (formerly Red River Shootout, SBC Red River Rivalry)
Jones AT&T Stadium Lubbock, Texas (formerly Clifford B. and Audrey Jones Stadium, Jones SBC Stadium)
Sponsorship of the #31 car driven by Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup
AT&T 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Milwaukee Mile
AT&T WilliamsF1 Team based in Grove, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Cingular/AT&T sponsorship controversy
Cingular Wireless began its sponsorship of the #31 Chevrolet, owned by Richard Childress Racing, in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2002. Two years later, when Nextel Communications (now Sprint Nextel) purchased the naming rights to NASCAR's top division, Cingular and Alltel, sponsor of the #12 Dodge (owned by Penske Racing and driven by Ryan Newman), were allowed to stay as sponsors under a grandfather clause. In early 2007, following its purchase by AT&T, Cingular began a rebranding effort to the AT&T Mobility brand. NASCAR quickly claimed that a clause in their contract with Sprint Nextel would not allow Cingular to change either the name or brand advertised on the #31 car.
After trying and failing to persuade NASCAR to approve the addition of the AT&T globe logo to the rear of the car, AT&T filed a lawsuit against NASCAR on March 16, 2007. On May 18, AT&T won a preliminary injunction in United States District Court in Atlanta, Georgia and, following a failed emergency motion for a stay by NASCAR on May 19, rebranded the #31 car, now driven by Jeff Burton, in time for the Nextel All-Star Challenge that evening. NASCAR was later granted an appeal to be heard on August 2.
On June 17, NASCAR announced it had filed a $100 million dollar lawsuit against AT&T and would like AT&T and all other telecommunications companies out of the sport in 2008.
On August 13, a ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for NASCAR to prevent AT&T Inc. from featuring its logo on the car. The court, therefore, threw out a lower court's ruling that prevented NASCAR from stopping AT&T's plans. The appeals court remanded the case to the district court.
At first practice for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 24, the #31 car was colored orange and black, but was bare; that is, no primary sponsor (but associate sponsors appeared) were on the car, similar to Formula One cars run in races where tobacco advertising was prohibited. The pit crew wore grey Richard Childress Racing shirts and Burton had a plain orange fire suit with associate sponsors. The car which carried a "subliminal advertising" scheme arrived in a black hauler with only the number 31 on the side. NASCAR officials said the car would not have made it through inspection with the AT&T logos. During that weekend, AT&T claimed that two alternate paint schemes proposed by AT&T - one advertising its "go phone" and another with the old Cingular slogan "more bars in more places" that AT&T recently brought back - were rejected by NASCAR. The Go Phone scheme was formerly used in the past. NASCAR later denied these claims.
The car remained bare on race night on August 25, though ESPN aired the AT&T logo during shots from its in-car camera. Fox Sports had done so earlier in the dispute, with the words "Cingular is the new AT&T" on-screen during these shots.
On September 7, 2007, a settlement was reached that AT&T Mobility could remain on the #31 until the end of 2008, but the associate sponsorship of the #29 Busch Series Holiday Inn Chevrolet, and the sponsorship of the Busch Series AT&T 250 at The Milwaukee Mile are not affected because they are in lower series.