Ma Bell Calls It Splits

Its bundling strategy a dud, a financially battered AT&T decides to divide itself into four companies

AT&T's top brass tried to keep things upbeat at last week's press conference--called to announce that one of America's oldest and most revered institutions was splitting into four companies. AT&T CEO Michael Armstrong told a roomful of reporters that his own aunt could still sleep easily putting her money in Ma Bell and living off the dividends. Lower-level Bellheads even joked about the career opportunities the split would create. "You always wanted to run your own company," one quipped to another. "Now you're going to get the chance."

But Wall Street wasn't smiling at this cheerful admission that Armstrong's strategy to...

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