The Public Interest

Beyond the Bell breakup

Peter F. Drucker

Fall 1984

SUCH discussion of the Bell System breakup as there has been—and there has been remarkably little—has centered mainly on the consequences for the shareholders and on share and bond prices. Yet few governmental actions since World War II will have such profound impact on American society, on American technology, and even on national security, as the antitrust suit against AT&T and the subsequent dissolution of the Bell System. Few so immediately affect every individual in the country.  The antitrust suit and its sequel raise serious and disturbing questions about those twin pillars of the American political economy: regulation of business and antitrust.

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