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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Abstract

The author argues that the Department of Justice and the divested Bell Operating Companies are trying to persuade the divestiture court to do directly what the Dole Bill tried to accomplish indirectly, namely, eliminate the provisions of the AT&T consent decree which restrict those companies from entering lines of business in which they could abuse their bottleneck power. The author suggests that the Department's recommendations to remove these restrictions are fundamentally flawed and completely unprincipled - and that, furthermore, recent history and present realities show that federal regulators cannot prevent the anti-competitive abuses which the decree was crafted to prevent. Finally, the author notes that the recent decision of the divestiture court to retain the core line-of-business restrictions is correct.

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