After the Breakup: Assessing the New Post-AT&T Divestiture Era

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Barry G. Cole
Columbia University Press, 1991 - Business & Economics - 480 pages
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On January 8, 1982, the AT&T divestiture consent decree was announced. A company with $150 billion in assets--more than General Motors, General Electric, U.S. Steel, Eastman Kodak, and Xerox combined--the country's second largest employer with over a million employees, and the nations most widely held security with over three million shareholders, was to be broken up on the first day of 1984. Many economists, government officials, people in the telecommunications industry, and media observers predicted dire consequences for "the best telephone system in the world."

Years later, some experts claim the divestiture has been a great success. According to present AT&T Chairman and CEO, Robert Allen, long-distance rates have dropped, local rates have not increased as dramatically as predicted, more households are on the network, other long-distance and equipment companies now effectively compete wit hAT&T, and consumers have received more choices in products, better values, and lower prices. Others are far less positive in their evaluation of divestiture's effects.

After the Breakup: Assessing the New Post-AT&T Divestiture Era describes the current state of telecommunications and how the industry has changed in the first decade of divestiture. Drawn from a major project organized by the Center for Telecommunications and Information Studies at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business, this volume offers an objective account of divestiture.


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Policy Directions for the Future
Regulatory and Institutional Change
The State of Competition in Telecommunications
Pricing of Telephone Services
Service Quality
Innovation and New Services
Advances in Network Technology
Telephone Penetration
Labor Employment and Wages
Efficiency and Productivity
Issues of International Trade

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About the author (1991)

Barry G. Cole is Visiting Director of the Center for Telecommunications and Information Studies at the Columbia Business School, and Adjunct Professor at the Annenburg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as founding Deputy Direct of the Annenberg School's Washington Program as well as a consultant to two FCC chairmen, the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, and the National Science Foundation.

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