Baby Bells

DEFINITION of 'Baby Bells'

A common nickname given to the U.S. regional telephone companies that were formed from the breakup of AT&T ("Ma Bell") in 1984. Baby Bells were created in accordance with antitrust legislation, which is designed to create more competition within the industry.

BREAKING DOWN 'Baby Bells'

Upon the initial breakup of AT&T, the Baby Bells included Nynex in New York and New England; Bell Atlantic, BellSouth and Ameritech in the Midwest; and Southwestern Bell, U.S. West and Pacific Telesis in California and Nevada. Over time, however, these companies have gone through several more corporate changes, such as acquisitions and mergers. As a result, the industry has been consolidated into a few domestic telephone providers.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Opening Bell

    A bell that is rung to signify the start of the day's trading ...
  2. Closing Bell

    A bell that rings to signify the end of a trading session. The ...
  3. After The Bell

    A phrase used to describe news, earnings reports and other activities ...
  4. Trading Session

    A period of time consisting of one day of business in a financial ...
  5. Bell

    The musical instrument that is sounded to signify the beginning ...
  6. Baby Bills

    A hypothetical nickname for the smaller companies that would ...
Related Articles
  1. Markets

    Antitrust Defined

    Check out the history and reasons behind antitrust laws, as well as the arguments over them.
  2. Markets

    What is a Bell Curve?

    The bell curve is the most common type of graphed data distribution.
  3. Insights

    If You Had Invested Right After AT&T's IPO (T)

    Analyze how AT&T stock has performed after the company's 1984 IPO, and learn how you would have fared had you been an early investor.
  4. Markets

    Taco Bell Has Already Ended Its Sales Slump

    Last quarter was the first time in more than three years that Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) Taco Bell had a drop in same-store sales, but it has already turned things around. On Thursday, the company ...
  5. Investing

    Can a New Look Change How People See Taco Bell?

    The restaurant chain that once pushed the gluttony of "Fourth Meal," a fast-food purveyor that has generally marketed itself to younger customers based on value, now wants people to take it ...
  6. Investing

    Use Breakup Value To Find Undervalued Companies

    Find out a company's worth if it were sold in pieces - it may be more than you think.
  7. Markets

    Yum! Brands' Taco Bell Steps Up Breakfast Battle

    When Yum! Brands' (NYSE: YUM) Taco Bell first started offering breakfast in 2014, its commercials made it very clear that it hoped to take customers from McDonald's (NYSE: MCD). Now, the Mexican ...
  8. Insights

    The Top 4 AT&T Shareholders (T)

    Discover the four highest-ranked direct holders of AT&T, and how all of them have worked their way through the ranks to get to where they are in 2016.
  9. Investing

    Why Do Some Failed Mergers Result in Break-Up Fees?

    When mergers go bad, there's often a break-up fee involved of as high as 3-5% of the value of the proposed merger.
  10. Markets

    How AT&T Evolved into a Mobile Phone Giant

    A third of Americans use an AT&T mobile phone. How did it evolve from a state-sponsored monopoly, though antitrust and a technological revolution?
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why is the 1982 AT&T breakup considered one of the most successful spinoffs in history?

    AT&T had a history reaching back to 1885 and, as a government-supported monopoly, was a highly profitable company. Colloquially ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is a baby bell?

    In 1982, AT&T agreed to settle the Justice Department's anti-trust action by breaking itself into seven Regional Bell Operating ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the history behind the opening and closing bells on the NYSE?

    Similar to the school bells that most of us heard during our school days, the New York Stock Exchange's (NYSE) opening and ... Read Answer >>
  4. What does "after the bell" mean?

    "After the bell" is financial slang for activity occurring after the close of the stock market, including after-hours trading, ... Read Answer >>
  5. What companies have been targeted for anti-trust action in the 21st century?

    Several companies have been targeted for antitrust action in the past decade. These companies range from food service to ... Read Answer >>
  6. Why don't stocks begin trading at the previous day's closing price?

    Most stock exchanges work according to the forces of supply and demand, which determine the prices at which stocks are bought ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Duration

    A measure of the sensitivity of the price (the value of principal) of a fixed-income investment to a change in interest rates. ...
  2. Dove

    An economic policy advisor who promotes monetary policies that involve the maintenance of low interest rates, believing that ...
  3. Cyclical Stock

    An equity security whose price is affected by ups and downs in the overall economy. Cyclical stocks typically relate to companies ...
  4. Front Running

    The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on information from the analyst department before his or her clients ...
  5. After-Hours Trading - AHT

    Trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The increasing popularity of electronic communication networks ...
  6. Omnibus Account

    An account between two futures merchants (brokers). It involves the transaction of individual accounts which are combined ...
Trading Center