DIVESTITURE OF THE BELL SYSTEM
The most significant regulatory event in telecommunications in the last twenty-five years has got to be the breakup of the Bell system. As discussed at the outset of this book, competing long-distance providers and equipment manufacturers played a large part, demanding changes in the way AT&T did business. For the company's part, its previous exclusion from the growing computer industry made business as usual unacceptable to it as well. The result was the separation of the local exchange companies of AT&T from the rest of the Bell System. This freed AT&T, as part of the bargain, to enter the computer field.
The breakup is an ongoing issue because under its terms the judge supervising the divestiture, U.S. District Judge Harold Greene, must undertake a review every three years to see whether the decree should be modified in any way. In the articles and cases that follow, the breakup of the AT&T system is reviewed, and the judge's initial decision and subsequent orders are examined.
552 F.SUPP. 131 (D.D.C. 1982)
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On January 8, 1982, the parties to these two actions filed with the District Court for the District of New Jersey a stipulation consenting to the entry by the Court of the "Modification of Final Judgment" filed therewith. On the same day, they attempted to file in this court a dismissal of the AT&T action pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(ii), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. This Court ordered that the dismissal be lodged, not filed, and, in accordance with that order and the provisions of the Tunney Act, the dismissal has not yet been effected. . . .
In their settlement proposal, the parties proposed that the Court enter the following judgment with respect to both lawsuits.