I’ve Got a Question
Isn’t a generally accepted principle here in the US that monopolies are pretty much bad things?
I mean it’s something that most folks here seem to agree on regardless of their political persuasion. Those who shade toward the conservative side see competition as beneficial for the economy. And folks with a more liberal outlook generally see behemoth corporations as undesirable.
And didn’t the US government spend something like 8 years in court to break up the monopoly that AT&T had over out nation’s communication system?
I’m sure they spent a ton of our tax dollars on that.
They Say That Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Where I lived we weren’t too affected one way or the other by the break up. We happened to live in a very rural part of Upstate New York and our family somewhat affectionately called our local phone company, Taconic Telephone, Rinky-dink Tel.
To give you a feel for how small they were, I remember that they did a study in the early ’80s to see about upgrading all their pay phones from a nickel to a quarter. But they determined that even a fivefold increase in revenue per call wouldn’t pay for the upgrade in a reasonable amount of time so you could still make a call for a nickel as late as 1985, when I went off to college.
I was in high school before they separated our party line with our neighbors across the street. Even today, 25 years later, their company profile only claims 29,000 customers.
So the break up didn’t affect us all that much at home although I seem to remember talking with folks when I was in college in New York City and them saying there were some hassles.
Regardless of whatever the hassles might have been, it seems that the enforced competition was helpful. Look at how far our technology has advanced since the court ruling in 1982. Whether it’s high speed internet, cell phone service, or better yet – high speed internet over the cell phone system, we’ve come a long way in the intervening 25 years.
Reunited and it Feels So Good
But now it seems that there is a certain, shall we say, consolidation is going on in the industry.
It’s sort of like the villain in the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day. You can brake it apart but the pieces will flow back together on their own.
All of the company names and who owns whom gets too confusing for me to keep up with, much less sumarize in one post. So I found a handy graphic over at the Wikipedia entry for AT&T.
See. It was one big company. Then it was several smaller companies. And now it’s one big company again.
And like a heifer staring at a new gate I just watch the magician and whisper, “How’d he do that?”
Apparently, where communications monopolies are concerned, bad is the new good. At least according to the FCC.
Or do you suppose maybe the new logo fooled them?
But that’s just The Way I C it.
Chris Cree is a regular contributor here at Successful-Blog and he helps businesses fuel growth through blogging with his consulting business, SuccessCREEations.