Business: Stirrings From a Sleeping Giant

A T& Treacts to a billion-dollar telecommunications shake-up

When it comes to go-getter companies for the 1980s, the name Ma Bell does not leap readily to mind. For years the world's largest business enterprise, with assets of more than $114 billion, has also been one of the dullest. Its deserved reputation is that of a lumbering pachyderm, content with its status as a Government-protected monopoly that controls 83% of the U.S. telephone market.

That situation is now changing, and fast. Regulatory reform in Washington and the breakneck advances of computer technology have conspired to...

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