The Fall of the Bell System

A Study in Prices and Politics

The Fall of the Bell System

AT&T's divestiture was the largest corporate reorganization in history and has had international repercussions. It was a major development in American economic policy, and a prominent part of the deregulation movement of the late 1970s. This study reveals the internal decision-making process at AT&T and explains how private and public interests combined to shape corporate and public policy in late 20th-century America. Temin weaves the strands of politics, economics, business, and law into an accessible narrative history that will be of interest to the general reader who wants to know about government business interaction and how it affects American citizens. Temin portrays divestiture as a great experiment in public policy, competition, openness, and international policy. He concludes that the experiment has been a mix of deliberate design and uncontrollable forces whose outcome was not foreseen.

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