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AMERICAN Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) traces its roots back to founder Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone in 1875. As a subsidiary of American Bell, AT&T began to manage long-distance services in 1884. Within four years, AT&T had become the parent company in a two-for-one swap.

Financial wizard J. P. Morgan took over the company in 1907. Morgan decided that AT&T would grow through acquisition, and AT&T developed a reputation as a “ruthless, grinding, oppressive monopoly.” AT&T resisted efforts to curtail its progress for the next 70 years.

By 1888, both the Democratic and Republican party platforms called for antitrust legislation, and the U.S. Congress complied with the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890. Beginning with the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. government was determined to ...

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