AT&T, Microsoft, Google…: the American antitrust has not won all its standoffs with tech

Posted Jan 25, 2023, 6:43 PMUpdated on Jan 25, 2023 at 8:04 p.m.

Forty years later, the event still resonates as a worrying precedent for American tech. On January 8, 1982, the American antitrust services struck a blow by ending the telecom monopoly held for years by AT&T. The master operator of almost all the telephone networks in the United States was suspected of abusing its dominant position, he who had also become one of the main sellers of telecom equipment across the Atlantic.

After two years of shattering negotiations with the US Department of Justice, American Telephone & Telegraph was forced to draw a line under nearly a century of heritage and vertical integration paving the way for competition. in the telecom market. In 1984, “Mother Bell” is no more and gives way to the “Baby Bells”: seven regional companies share the country at the local level and AT&T will have to face competition on long distance communications.

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