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AT&T Inc.
The logo used by AT&T.
Type Public ( NYSE: T)
Founded 1885
Headquarters San Antonio, Texas, USA
Key people Edward Whitacre, Jr., Chairman/ CEO
Richard Lindner, CFO
Industry Telecommunications
Products Telephone, Internet, Television
Revenue $43.862 billion USD ( 2005)
Net income $4.786 billion USD ( 2005)
Employees 189,950
Slogan The World's Networking Company.

AT&T Inc. ( NYSE: T) is the largest provider of both local and long distance telephone services, wireless service ( Cingular), and DSL internet access in the United States. The current company, which is based in San Antonio, Texas, United States, was formed in 2005 by SBC Communications' purchase of its former parent company, AT&T Corp. As a part of the merger, SBC shed its name and took on the iconic AT&T moniker and the T stock-trading symbol (for "telephone").


AT&T Corporation

SBC Communications

Creation of AT&T, Inc.


On January 31, 2005, SBC announced that it would purchase AT&T 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 announced that the name of the merged company will be AT&T, Inc., and it adopted an updated logo. The merger is ironic in the fact that one of the "Baby Bells" grew to the strength to buy out "Ma Bell" AT&T. A further irony is that the government, which mandated the breakup of the original monopoly AT&T in the first place, gave the go-ahead to allow AT&T to reconstitute much of itself in this merger. There are talks now to merge with BellSouth.

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.".


Announced acquisition of BellSouth

On Sunday March 5, 2006 , AT&T announced it would be purchasing BellSouth for $67 billion (or 1.325 shares of AT&T for each share of BellSouth). The new combined company would retain the name AT&T. When completed, this deal will consolidate ownership of Cingular Wireless, currently a joint venture between BellSouth and AT&T. Subsequent to completion of the merger, wireless services would be offered under the AT&T name. Usage of the Bell logo after the merger is highly doubtful. As of October 13, 2006, AT&T and BellSouth received approval of the merger from 18 state agencies, three foreign countries, and the U.S. Department of Justice. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is split down party lines with one of the Republican members abstaining due to a potential conflict of interest. FCC Chairman Martin has agreed to let some of the conditions favorable to Democrats to be aired publicly for 10 days. He has then scheduled a vote on this matter for November 3, 2006. AT&T is open to discussing reasonable conditions as long as they will not affect AT&T's ability to deliver merger benefits to customers and shareowners. AT&T hopes for a unanimous 4-0 vote in favour of the merger.

Bell Operating Companies

New AT&T payphone signage.
New AT&T payphone signage.

Of the 24 Bell Operating Companies which AT&T owned or in which it held a minority interest prior to the 1984 federally mandated split of the company, 12 will be a part of the new AT&T Inc. upon the completion of their proposed acquisition of BellSouth announced on March 5, 2006:

  • Illinois Bell
  • Indiana Bell
  • Michigan Bell
  • Nevada Bell ( f/k/a Bell Telephone Company of Nevada)
  • Ohio Bell
  • Pacific Bell ( f/k/a Pacific Telephone & Telegraph)
  • Wisconsin Bell ( f/k/a Wisconsin Telephone)
  • South Central Bell (pending BellSouth merger; merged with Southern Bell in 1992)
  • Southern Bell (pending BellSouth merger; merged with South Central Bell in 1992)
  • Southern New England Telephone—Now wholly owned, AT&T held only 16.8% interest before 1984.
  • Southwestern Bell

D/B/A Names

On January 15, 2006, AT&T changed all of its d/b/a names adopted in 2003 to reflect the new holding company name, AT&T. The names in parentheses are the complete real names of each company.

  • AT&T Inc.
    • AT&T Southwest - (Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P.)
      • AT&T Arkansas - (note: d/b/a names for AT&T Southwest are based on its operations in each state)
      • AT&T Kansas
      • AT&T Missouri
      • AT&T Oklahoma
      • AT&T Texas
    • AT&T West (Pacific Telesis)
      • AT&T California (Pacific Bell Telephone Co.)
      • AT&T Nevada (Nevada Bell Telephone Co.)
    • AT&T East (Southern New England Telecommunications Corp.)
      • AT&T Connecticut (The Southern New England Telephone Co.)
    • AT&T Midwest - ( AT&T Teleholding, Inc.)
      • AT&T Illinois (Illinois Bell Telephone Co.)
      • AT&T Indiana (Indiana Bell Telephone Co., Inc.)
      • AT&T Michigan (Michigan Bell Telephone Co.)
      • AT&T Ohio (The Ohio Bell Telephone Co.)

Corporate governance

"AT&T Tower" in Atlanta, GA.
"AT&T Tower" in Atlanta, GA.

AT&T's current board mainly consists of members of SBC's board of directors.

  • Edward E. Whitacre Jr. - 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
  • John B. McCoy
  • Mary S. Metz
  • Toni Rembe
  • S. Donley Ritchey
  • Joyce M. Roche
  • Randall L. Stephenson
  • Laura D'Andrea Tyson
  • Patricia P. Upton


AT&T offers a broad spectrum of telecommunication services. Voice line, Frame Relay, DSL Internet, Dial Up Internet, VoIP, as well as local and long distance calling. Recently they have moved into bundled services as well as working with cell phone plans.

Privacy controversy

In 2006, the Electronic Frontier Foundation lodged a class action lawsuit ( Hepting vs. 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 a retired former AT&T technician, Mark Klein, lodged an affidavit supporting this allegation . The Department of Justice has stated they will intervene in this lawsuit by means of State Secrets Privilege .

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 June 21, 2006, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that AT&T had rewritten rules on their privacy policy. The policy, to take effect June 23, 2006, says that "AT&T -- not customers -- owns customers' confidential info and can use it "to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."

Places/events/partners named after AT&T

  • AT&T Red River Rivalry - Dallas, Texas (formerly Red River Shootout, SBC Red River Rivalry)
  • AT&T Park — San Francisco, California (formerly Pacific Bell Park, SBC Park)
  • AT&T Bricktown Ballpark — Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (formerly Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark, SBC Bricktown Ballpark)
  • AT&T Centre — San Antonio, Texas (formerly SBC Centre)
  • 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.
  • Jones AT&T Stadium — Lubbock, Texas (formerly Clifford B. and Audrey Jones Stadium, Jones SBC Stadium)
  • AT&T WilliamsF1 Team - based in Grove, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

AT&T's competitors

  • BellSouth (pending merger)
  • Citizens Communications
  • Qwest
  • Sprint Nextel
  • Verizon
  • Embarq
  • LTT
  • Equant (France Télécom)
  • Sage telecom
  • Windstream Communications
  • XO

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