History of the U.S. Telecom Industry

In the early 1980s, the breakup of AT&T created more service providers known as the Baby Bells. With the recent acquisition of T-Mobile, AT&T is taking a step towards becoming one of the most dominant players in the US telecom industry again.

The following diagram from the Wall Street Journal takes you through a period of the industry’s mergers and acquisitions in the past 25 years.

This nicely color-coded diagram is both aesthetically appealing and insightful, but missing a few elements in the legend:

  • Thicker lines: largest two remaining players
  • Solid circles: entities that survived
  • Hollow circles: entities that essentially died off

[Wall Street Journal]


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