Ma Bell's Rival

MCI battles with AT&T

A Lilliputian among telephone companies (1980 revenues: $205 million), MCI has spent most of the past decade battling the industry's Gulliver, AT&T (1980 revenues: $50 billion). Not only that, but the tiny competitor has often been successful. Since its founding in 1968, MCI has steadily chipped away at Ma Bell's lucrative monopoly in long-distance business calls. Now, with the help of American Express, it is aggressively entering the long-distance market for household phone calls.

In an experiment begun last month, Amex is offering MCI's cut-rate telephone service to about 120,000 of its 9.5 million cardholders. Early interest has been...

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