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49 Infrastructure 1 (2009-2010)

handle is hein.journals/infrastr49 and id is 1 raw text is: A          O  PLU                                   N   T

Vol. 49, No. 1, Fall 2009
By Gerald A. Connell, Michael D. McNeely, and John C. Peirce

Eitor's Aote: This article traces the
development of the teleconmmunica-
tions industry in the T nited States,
from the time that iMr Watson first
heard hiniselfsummoned by Alexan-
der Graham Bell, to the present con-
fluence ofv oice, cable, and Internet
The article jbcuses on the antitrust
aspects of the industy, with emphasis
on the role played by AT&T and the
likelibood of increased scrutiny of the
largestparticipints in the industry
by qficials appointed by the Obana
adinistration.
In 1876, the Scotsman Alexander
Graham Bell found a way to
transmit the human voice using
electric current-he invented the
telephone. He could have, appropri-
ately said What hath God wrought
as his first message, since his inven-
tion was to profoundly affect the
world.
It didn't take long for the
immense importance of this revolu-
tionary method of communications
to become obvious to many, Bell
included. Bell held two important
patents covering the method of,
and apparatus for, transmitting vocal
or other sounds telegraphically. .. by
causing electrical undulations, and
the next year he and his investors

Gerald A. Connell

Michael D. McNeely

John C. Peirce

Gerald A. Coiiell past-chair oj the Section and a jbrmer
antitrust litigator ith the US. DQJand the law firm oj Baker
& HostetlerLLP /s now a sole pctitioner, in irginia. Michael
D. McNeely is a solo antirstpractitioner in the Lau Offices
ofMichae ID. McNeely in Wishington, D.C. John C. Peirce is
partner in Bryan  a'e LLP in Washington, D.C.

formed the Bell Telephone Company to exploit those
patents. In 1882, Western Electric was acquired to pro-
duce the equipment that would be needed by the Bell
System.
In 1894, the Bell patents expired, and thousands of com-
panies entered the telephone business in cities and towns
across the country. Over the next 20 years Bell bought up
many of the new independents, and also purchased WVestern
union, creating at least a near-monopoly in both voice and
telegraph communications. Its motto was One system, one
policy, universal service, expressing its desire to manage the
telephone system in the United States. In 1913, Bell resolved
the antitrust concerns that its acquisitions and its policy had
created by agreeing with the United States to divest Western
continued on pafg/e 8

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Published in Infrastructure, Volume 49, Numbei 1, Fall 2009 C 2009 by the Am eican Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied 01
disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the Ameri can Bar Association.

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