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. 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 ...
  5. 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 ...
  6. 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.
  7. Markets

    A Closer Look at AT&T

    AT&T has come a long way since 1885. We look at its strategic direction, challenges and recent performance.
  8. 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.
  9. Personal Finance

    How to Cost Effectively Spend on Baby Clothes

    Don't let your baby's wardrobe derail your budget. These top tips help you to save money and spend wisely on baby clothes.
  10. Retirement

    Who Are the Baby Boomers?

    Baby boomer is a descriptive term for a person who was born between the years 1946 and 1964.
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 ... 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. European Union - EU

    A group of European countries that participates in the world economy as one economic unit and operates under one official ...
  2. Sell-Off

    The rapid selling of securities, such as stocks, bonds and commodities. The increase in supply leads to a decline in the ...
  3. Brazil, Russia, India And China - BRIC

    An acronym for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. It has been speculated that by 2050 these four ...
  4. Brexit

    The Brexit, an abbreviation of "British exit" that mirrors the term Grexit, refers to the possibility of Britain's withdrawal ...
  5. Underweight

    1. A situation where a portfolio does not hold a sufficient amount of a particular security when compared to the security's ...
  6. Russell 3000 Index

    A market capitalization weighted equity index maintained by the Russell Investment Group that seeks to be a benchmark of ...
Trading Center