To Buy or Rent

Now AT&T users can choose

In recent weeks, telephone users in New York, California and Oregon have been getting some surprising flyers in the mail with their monthly bills. Soon customers in most other states will be going to the mailbox and finding the same. The inserts invite subscribers to buy their telephones from their local phone companies instead of renting them, as is now done. The invitations are part of an ongoing market shake-up in the increasingly deregulated U.S. telephone industry.

For many years American Telephone and Telegraph used its monopoly powers to stifle competition from other manufacturers of telephone equipment by...

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