The Long-Distance Runners

A T& T and its rivals are competing all-out for one another's customers

It looked for all the world last week like a gas station or a bank or a rent-a-car company trying to lure customers by offering discounts on television sets or getaway weekends. Instead, it was A T & T signaling that the once straightforward business of providing long-distance telephone service has drastically changed.

Prodded by new competition from companies like MCI Communications and GTE-Sprint, A T & T announced a program that gives its 80 million residential customers credits toward buying 50 different products and services. By making $15...

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