- The Washington Times - Friday, October 28, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) — The storied AT&T; name will live on after the long-distance phone company is acquired by SBC Communications Inc., which is renaming itself and most of its products under the 120-year-old brand.

Yesterday, federal antitrust regulators approved SBC’s $16 billion purchase of AT&T; Corp., its former corporate parent, and Verizon Communications Inc.’s $8.4 billion acquisition of MCI Inc., ordering the companies to sell certain assets to preserve competition in 19 markets.

The name change had been widely predicted since the SBC-AT&T; deal was announced in January, given the global recognition and reputation of AT&T; as compared to SBC, a little-known brand outside the 13 states where it provides local phone service.

AT&T;, which once stood for American Telephone and Telegraph, traces its roots as a company back to the 1876 invention of the telephone by founder Alexander Graham Bell. But the name did not come into being until a decade later, when it was created as the long-distance subsidiary of American Bell Telephone Co. The name was officially shortened to the initials AT&T; in 1994.

San Antonio-based SBC, one of the “Baby Bells” created by the 1984 breakup of AT&T;’s national monopoly, was formerly named Southwestern Bell Corp.

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