Once upon a time in the 1970’s there was a giant monopoly controlling virtually all of the communications in the United States. It was such a detriment to technological progress that the government spent millions of dollars and more than a decade to break up the company.

Looks like the breakup didn’t take.

AT&T Inc. announced plans yesterday to buy BellSouth Corp. for about $67 billion in stock in a deal that would reassemble large swaths of the old “Ma Bell” local-telephone monopoly but is likely to win regulatory approval because of growing competition from mobile phone, cable and Internet telephone companies.

The merger would dramatically expand San Antonio-based AT&T, which is already the largest phone company in the country, by extending its local-phone service into 22 states and giving it full control of Cingular Wireless, the largest mobile phone company in the nation.

Like it or not, Ma Bell is comin’ back!

att, monopoly