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Federal Internet Law & Policy
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Mergers Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

Major Telecom Mergers through history (note this does not reflect a lot of the wireless companies): See Also Communications Timeline ; See Industry :: Backbones noting major Internet Backbone mergers.

EDITOR NOTE: CONSOLIDATE THIS PAGE WITH INDUSTRY ANTIRUST

Year                  
1845                  
1851   NY&MI Telegraph Co est.              
1856   NY&MI becomes Western Union American Telegraph Co Est            
1857 New York Albany and Buffalo Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Company     Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Company Illinois & Mississippi Telegraph Company New Orleans & Ohio Telegraph Company      
1864       US Telegraph Co Est.          
1866   Acquires US Telegraph and American Telegraph << American Telegraph << US Telegraph          
1873   Acquires Intl Ocean Telegraph Co.         City and Suburban Telegraph Company Est.    
1877 American Bell est                
1878     SNET est            
1879

AT&T & WU >>
Agree not to compete

<< Western Union              
1882
American Bell <
               
1885 AT&T subsidiary of American Bell                
1892                  
1899 American Bell becomes AT&T             Brown Telephone Est.  
1903             Becomes Cincinnati and Suburban Bell Telephone    
1908 AT&T acquires controlling interest in WU <- Western Union              
                   
1913 Kingsbury Commitment
AT&T divests
-> Western Union       Richland Telephone Co. Becomes      
1918 AT&T nationalized during WWI                
1919 AT&T reprivitized                
1926           Becomes Associated Telephone      
1942               Brown Telephone becomes United Utilities  
1945 WU mergers with Pacific Postal Telegraph              
1959           Becomes GTE      
1968                 MCI Est
1971             Becomes Cincinnati Bell    
1972               United Utilities becomes United Telecom  
1974         Telenet Est        
1979         Telenet> > GTE]
   
1983   Goto Current Goto 1998     Goto 2000     LLDS Est.
1984 AT&T Divestiture >
SW Bell > PacTel > Bell Atlantic > NYNEX> Ameritech > US West > Bell South
goto 2006
 
1986 AT&T IXC             United Telecom becomes Sprint  
1987             Goto 1996 Fleet Net Est. UUNet Est
1990            
   
1991                  
1992                  
1993   SW Bell becomes SBC           Fleet Net Becomes Nextel  
1994                  
1995                 LLDS becomes WCOM
1996
AT&T divests Lucent
NCR
SBC<
< PacTel <
  Qwest Founded
  UUNet ->> MFS
1997            
  MFS->> WCOM
1998  
SBC <
< SNET< <-NYNEX Goto 2002
  WCOM >>MCI
1999                
2000  
  <GTE<
Genuity spun off
Broadwing Acquired by Cincinnati Bell
 
2001 AT&T divests AT&T Wireless                
2002 Comcast acquires AT&T Broadband <Ameritech<   Level3 acquires Genuity        
2003             Cincinnati Bell sells Broadwing to Covis    
2004  
Cingular<
< AT&T Wireless            
2005 SBC Becomes AT&T   <-MCI<  
>Nextel-Sprint< <<<
2006 Comcast acquires Adelphia   < Bell South         Broadwing acquired by Level3
2007   AT&T   Verizon   Qwest Cincinnati Bell Nextel Sprint  
2008                  
2009                  
2010                  
2011 Comcast acquires NBCU         Centurlink acquires Qwest and Savvis     Level3 acquires GC
2012                  
2013                  
2014                 Level3 acquires Time Warner Telecom
2015 Comcast / TWC Merger Blocked AT&T / DirecTV Merger             Charter announces intention to acquire TWC
2016       Verizon Acquring XO        

Charter / TWC merger approved

Cablevision / Altice / Suddenlink

Mergers

2002

  • AT&T / Comcast
  • 2011

  • Level 3 / Global Crossing
  • Comcast NBC
  • AT&TMobile (Blocked)
  • 2014

  • Comcast / Time Warner Cable
  • AT&T / Dish Network
  • 1879: First telephone exchange in Ohio. City and Suburban Telegraph Company records 145,392 calls for the year. [Cincinatti Bell History]

    "The first Bell telephone company started in 1878. This is now known as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), which was incorporated in 1885. - History of Wire and Broadcast Communication, FCC (May 1993):

    1883: Globe Telephone Co established in NY. Meucci assigns all rights to his teletrofono invention to it. [Catania]

    1884: 370 telephone subscribers served by Atlanta Telephone Exchange. [Atlanta]

    • 1894:
    • 1409 Bell Exchanges + 98 independant exchanges = 1507 exchanges [Mueller p 61 1997]
    • 28 cities had service from at least two companies [Mueller p 56 1997]
    • 1894-98: 1074 independent telephone companies began operations. [Mueller p 55 1997]
    • 1895-97: 220 cities had service from at least two companies [Mueller p 56 1997]
    • 1897:
    • Independants had 19% of the local market [Sterling p 71]
    • 1799 Bell Exchanges + 1700 Independant Exchanges = 3499 Exchanges [Mueller p 61 1997]

    1899: Brown Telephone Co established [Sprint] See 1942

    • 1902:
    • 3000 commercial companies with 44% of the local market [Sterling p 71]
    • 3005 Bell Exchanges + 3400Independant Exchanges = 6405 Exchanges [Mueller p 61 1997]
    • 1904:
    • 3365 Bell Exchanges + 4400 Independant Exchanges = 7765 Exchanges [Mueller p 61 1997]
    • "Between 1894 and 1904, over six thousand independent telephone companies went into business in the United States, and the number of telephones boomed from 285,000 to 3,317,000." [AT&T History Origins]
    • 1907:
    • 4889 Bell Exchanges + 5400 Independant Exchanges = 10,289 Exchanges [Mueller p 61 1997]
    • Independants had 49% of the local market. [Sterling p 71]

    1913: (1918?) Richland Telephone Co. in Wisconsin is purchased by O'Connell, Odegard, and Pratt. Becomes Associated Telephone Utilities in 1926. [Scripophily] [Funding Uni]

    1920: Richland Telephone Co. becomes Commonwealth Telephone Company. [Funding Uni]

    1926: Commonweath Telephone Co (WI) purchased Associated Telephone Utilities (CA) and the company takes the name Associated Telephone Utilities. [Scripophily] [LOC Associated Telephone Annual Reports] Associated would acquire 340 telephone companies in the next 5 years. [Funding Uni]

    1933: Associated Telephone Utilites goes into receivership and emerges in 1935 reorganized as General Telephone. [Scripophily] [Funding Uni]

    1942: Brown Telephone becomes United Utilities. [Sprint]

    1955: General Telephone acquires Thomas Gary & Co, 2nd largest independant telephone co. See 1956. [Funding Uni]

    1956: General Telephone merges with Sylvania to become GTE. [Scripophily][Funding Uni]

    1960: Telephone Communications Company established. [Funding Uni]

    1961: Telephone Communications Company acquires Central Western Company and becomes Continental Telephone. [Funding Uni]

    1969: BBN helps build ARPANet

    1964: GTE acquires Western Utilities Co. 2nd larges Indie Telephone Co. [Funding Uni] See 1983.

    1972: United Utilities becomes United Telecom. [Sprint]

    1979: GTE Acquires Telenet from BBN. [BBN] See GTE 1983

    1983: GTE acquires Southern Pacific Co. / Sprint [Scripophily] becomes third largest telco. [Funding Uni]

    1985: Level3 Established under the name of Kiewit Diversified Group. [L3]

    1986: Continental Telephone becomes Contel. [Funding Uni]

    1988: GTE Sells Sprint to Unitied Utilities. [Scripophily] [Funding Uni] [Sprint]

    1990: Contel acquires McCaw Cellular. [Funding Uni] See 1991

    1991: GTE and Contel merge to become GTE. [Funding Uni]

    1997: GTE Acquires BBN. [BBN]

    1999: Verizon buys GTE; spins off Genuity (BBN Network). [Scripophily]

    2003: Level3 Acquires Genuity. [L3]

    2005: Sprint and Nextel Merge to form Sprint Nextel.

     

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