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The Deal of the Century: The Breakup of At&T Paperback – Jan 1988

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Reads like a John Grisham novel, but this story is true 18 July 2012
By Sam I Am - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Deal of the Century" was written with the flair and style of the best John Grisham legal thriller, except this story is true. Steve Coll is a talented writer, making what could have been a dry and boring subject, the legal breakup of the world's largest telephone company, into a book that is engaging from the first page to the very last.

The book also offers insight for future business leaders, bosses and company owners - what really got AT&T's goose fried was the company's failure, beginning in the late 1960's to provide decent telephone service to customers. Particularly in Manhattan, the author notes, financial companies couldn't get phones installed in a timely manner, and when the phones were finally installed, connecting wasn't a guarantee. There were so many customers in the late 1960's that AT&T couldn't keep up with the demand for new service.

In some places, telephone service was awful, and there were no choices for consumers to find a better phone company. So these unhappy customers started complaining to their Congressional representatives. This added to the pressure on the Federal Government to do something about the AT&T telephone monopoly.

In the midst of all these unhappy AT&T business telephone customers, an entrepreneur named William McGowan bought a controlling interest in the company which would later be known as MCI Worldcom, and then he began a series of civil lawsuits against AT&T for the right to provide a better telephone service to his own customers. There are good lessons here for any person who works in business and commerce.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If you want to learn about telecom, this is the source. 4 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an MBA student interested in telecom, I found this book to be among the best sources of information about telecom regulation. It provides rich detail but is also very readable and only gets technical when necessary.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
History of breakup of AT&T 26 Nov. 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Prior to interviewing with a Baby Bell Company, I read The Dealof theCentury. It was not only informative but fascinating. I was able to get a flavor of the personalities involved and internal squabbles that shaped the "deal" involving AT&T. This book is required reading for anybody who wants to understand how we got where we are today in telecommunications. By the way, I got the job.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Real Political Thriller 9 Aug. 2004
By Robert Carlberg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reads like a John Grisham novel, except that all of it really happened. Coll is able to take the largest anti-trust litigation in history, against the largest corporation in the world, and make the subject not only interesting but edge-of-your-seat thrilling.

I first read this 13 years ago when I started in telecom, and am re-reading it now in light of recent events. The book is not only as good as I remembered it, it's better. And the repercussions of the Ma Bell breakup are still very much with us today.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Amazing story - a must read 5 Dec. 2011
By DigitalReader - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to understand the telecom history, this is something you you should read.

ATT owned every phoen in US before the breakup, imagine the power they had before they were broken.
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