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The Nation

Baby Bell SBC May Buy Its Onetime Parent AT&T

Split up more than 20 years ago, the phone carriers could reach a deal as early as Monday.

January 28, 2005|James S. Granelli and Jon Healey | Times Staff Writers

1991: AT&T acquires NCR Corp. for $7.4 billion, making it a significant player in the computer and data communications industry.

1994: AT&T completes its merger with McCaw Cellular Communications, resulting in what becomes AT&T Wireless.

1995: AT&T restructures into three separate companies: a services company called AT&T; a product and systems company later named Lucent Technologies; and a computer company called NCR.

1996: Congress passes the Telecommunications Act, designed to allow broader competition in phone service.

1996: Lucent and NCR are both spun off from AT&T.

1997: C. Michael Armstrong becomes chief executive of AT&T and describes a focus on providing voice, data and video services.

1998: AT&T acquires Teleport Communications Group.

1999: The company acquires cable giant Tele-Communications Inc.

2000: The company acquires MediaOne Group, becoming the country's largest cable operator.

2000: AT&T's stock begins to crumble as investors grow impatient, seeing no payoff from Armstrong's $100-billion purchases of cable and communications companies.

2000: AT&T announces it will restructure into four independent, publicly held companies: AT&T Wireless, AT&T Broadband, AT&T Business and AT&T Consumer.

2001: AT&T splits off AT&T Wireless into a separate company.

2001: BellSouth Corp. considers buying AT&T's phone unit.

2001: The company agrees to sell its cable television unit to Comcast Corp. for $52 billion.

July 2004: The company announces it will stop marketing residential phone service, saying it could not compete with the local phone companies it once owned.

This week: Sources say SBC Communications Inc., one of the Baby Bells to emerge from AT&T's 1984 breakup, is in talks to buy its former parent.


Sources: AT&T, Times research; compiled by Times librarian John Jackson

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