These companies have since merged, leaving only 4 regional telephone companies in the United States. After the 1984 breakup, part of AT&T's Bell Labs was split off into Bellcore, which would serve as an R&D and standards body for the seven Baby Bells.
BabyBells are the regional local telephone providers formed by the breakup of AT&T. "There's been a lot written and said in the last couple weeks (about the effects) of the demise of WorldCom, especially for Internet traffic and e-mail.
The FCC has the authority to approve or deny proposed mergers in the telecommunications industry, so any BabyBell looking to snap up WorldCom would need to go through the approval process and prove to the commission that the merger is in the public interest, the spokesman said.
Currently, none of the BabyBell companies have met the Section 271 requirements in all of the states in their regions, Brecher said, but a few Bells are coming close.
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