“Market Cap $182.71 B As of May 2014
At a Glance
- Industry: Telecommunications services
- Founded: 1875
- Country: United States
- CEO: Randall Stephenson
- Website: www.att.com
- Employees: 243,000
- Sales: $128.75 B
- Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
#23 Global 2000
- #32 in Sales
- #21 in Profit
- #110 in Assets
- #28 in Market value
#15 World’s Most Valuable Brands
AT&T, Inc. provides telecommunication services and products, including wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, data/broadband and Internet services, video services, telecommunications equipment, managed networking and wholesale services. It operates business through four reportable segments: Wireless, Wireline and Other. The Wireless segment operates comprehensive range of high-quality nationwide wireless voice and data communications services in a variety of pricing plans, including postpaid and prepaid service plans. It also sells handsets, wirelessly enabled computers and personal computer wireless data cards manufactured by various suppliers for use with voice and data services. The Wireline segment provides both retail and wholesale communication services domestically and internationally. Its wireline services into three product-based categories: voice, data and other. The Other segment includes equipment, outsourcing, government-related services, customer information services and satellite video services. The security service includes business continuity and disaster recovery services as well as premise and network based security products. The company was founded in 1876 and is headquartered in Dallas, TX.“
Prior to 2005 purchase by SBC
AT&T can indirectly trace its origin back to the original Bell Telephone Company founded by Alexander Graham Bell after his invention of the telephone. One of that company’s subsidiaries was American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), established in 1885, which acquired the Bell Company on December 31, 1899 for legal reasons, leaving AT&T as the main company. AT&T established a network of subsidiaries in the United States that held a government-authorized phone servicemonopoly, formalized with the Kingsbury Commitment, throughout most of the twentieth century. This monopoly was known as the Bell System, and during this period, AT&T was also known by the nickname Ma Bell. For periods of time, the former AT&T was the world’s largest phone company.
In 1984, US regulators broke up the AT&T monopoly, requiring AT&T to divest its regional subsidiaries and turning them each into individual companies. These new companies were known as Regional Bell Operating Companies, or more informally, Baby Bells. AT&T continued to operate long distance services, but thanks to the breakup, faced competition from new competitors such as MCI and Sprint.
Southwestern Bell was one of the companies created by the breakup of AT&T. It wasn’t long before the company started a series of acquisitions. This includes the 1987 acquisition of Metromedia mobile business, and the acquisition of several cable companies in the early 1990s. In the later half of the 1990s, the company acquired several other telecommunications companies, including some baby bells, while selling its cable business. During this time, the company changed its name to SBC Communications. By 1998, the company was in the top 15 of the Fortune 500, and by 1999 the company was part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
In 2005, SBC purchased AT&T for $16 billion. After this purchase, SBC adopted the AT&T name and brand. The original 1885 AT&T still exists as the long-distance phone subsidiary of this company.
In September 2013, AT&T announced it would expand into Latin America through a collaboration with Carlos Slim’s America Movil. On December 17, 2013, AT&T announced plans to sell its Connecticut wireline operations to Stamford-based Frontier Communications. Roughly 2,700 wireline employees supporting AT&T’s operations in Connecticut will transfer with the business to Frontier, as well as 900,000 voice connections, 415,000 broadband connections, and 180,000 U-verse video subscribers.
On May 18, 2014, AT&T announced it had agreed to purchase DirecTV. In the deal, which has been approved by boards of both companies, DirecTV stockholders will receive $95 a share in cash and stock, valuing the deal at $48.5 billion. Including assumed debt, the total purchase price is about $67.1 billion. The deal was aimed at increasing AT&T’s market share in the pay-TV sector; its existing U-Verse brand has modest market share (5.7 million users compared to DirecTV’s 20 million US customers as of 2014) and operates in only 22 states. It will also give AT&T access to fast-growing Latin American markets, where DirecTV has 18 million subscribers. Additionally, the purchase will allow the AT&T to offer TV through both fiber-optic lines and satellites by maintaining the DirecTV brand as a separate subsidiary, and give the company greater flexibility in creating TV/phone/Internet bundles. The deal will face regulatory approval by the FCC, the U.S. Department of Justice, and some Latin American governments. It is expected to take about 12 months to complete.”
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org
**Video published on YouTube by “AT&T Tech Channel“