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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of the seven regional telephone companies created in 1984 when AT&T was ordered to divest itself of its local telephone service operations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the Regional Bell Operating Companies resulting from the division of AT&T Corporation into a number of smaller companies in the 1980s as part of an antitrust agreement.


From (Ma) Bell, nickname for Bell Telephone Company, after Alexander Graham Bell.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • The former Baby Bell, which built itself up through a decade of acquisitions into the country's largest telecommunications company, was planning to buy T-Mobile USA, a deal that would test its skilled regulatory team in Washington.

    AT&T Digs In for a D.C. Fight

  • It's ironic that at a telephone company someone can talk about being entrepreneurial, but we were starting our own Baby Bell.

    Restructuring expertise opens many doors

  • Qwest used its high stock price to buy US West, a Baby Bell.

    Qwest to Keep Long-Distance Assets

  • He says he was approached last week after the merger news by a Baby Bell representative who "talked about an offer so inadequate it's embarrassing."

    Full Speed Ahead--Maybe

  • USWest will take a particular interest; some months ago the Baby Bell and its strategic partner Time Warner talked with founder Charles Dolan about selling his company.

    Full Speed Ahead--Maybe

  • With last week's announcement of their proposed $22 billion merger, John C. Malone, the cable king, and Raymond W. Smith, head of the most aggressive Baby Bell, joined that pantheon of achievement and controversy.

    Big Brother's Holding Company

  • It seemed focused on the good old days, before the 1984 breakup that separated it from the Baby Bell local phone companies.

    At&Amp;T's Golden Boy

  • NynexTwo weeks ago the Baby Bell agreed to pump a whopping $1.2 billion into "Roseanne's" corporate parent, Viacom, which is trying to purchase Paramount.

    The Bells: Reach Out And Buy Somebody

  • That if you can get a high-enough stock price and access to new technology, being a newbie can be lots more fun than being an old incumbent company like a Baby Bell, AT&T or MCI.

    Behind The Phone Frenzy

  • It may also bring down long-distance rates: if regulators decide that local phone markets are fully open (because AT&T will offer local service to TCI's cable subscribers), they're likely to allow the five Baby Bell phone companies to start offering long-distance service.

    The Call Of The Wired


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