Ma Bell


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Ma Bell

A jocular name for AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation), originally a subsidiary of the Bell Telephone Company, especially in reference to its monopoly of phone services across the United States and Canada up until 1981. (Its regional subsidiaries, which it was required to divest in 1982 as the result of an antitrust lawsuit, were known as "Baby Bells.") My dad worked for Ma Bell for nearly 40 years as an engineer. If the merger goes through, Ma Bell will once again control nearly all of the telephone operations across the entire country. There were few complaints from people working within the company, though, especially at the corporate level—Ma Bell certainly took care of her own.
See also: bell, ma

Ma Bell

n. AT&T, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company; any telephone company. (see also Baby Bell.) Ma Bell is still one of the largest firms in the nation.
See also: bell, ma
References in periodicals archive ?
It's possible that Cox is trying to get AT&T to blink here, hoping that the countersuit will coerce Ma Bell into settling the original lawsuit, perhaps without the need for licensing payments.
Can you talk more about how Ma Bell was a tool of "inclusiv[ity]?
Ma Bell once gave us the option of ending a call, shall we say, emphatically.
On behalf of our customers, our industry and our country, Sprint will fight this attempt by AT&T to undo the progress of the past 25 years and create a new Ma Bell duopoly," McCann's statement said.
In a particularly personal note, Rosalyn Becker writes that she "took tranquilizers and sleeping pills to force myself to work a job I hated--telephone operator for Ma Bell.
Ma Bell is beginning to look like Ma Wi-Fi as the company expands its Wi-Fi efforts beyond a Wi-Fi test site in Times Square.
on a weekday, airfares were set by the government, the draft was alive and well, and hooking up an answering machine was a good way to incur the wrath of Ma Bell.
The long distance giants affirm their commitment to continue merging and merging and merging until they eventually coalesce into one single entity which they will rename Ma Bell.
Some people say that all mothers are alike, but frankly, we think that the people at Ma Bell are considerably more finicky than we are.
The old Western Electric Ma Bell black phones lasted half a lifetime.
prompted rampant speculation that the old Ma Bell was being reassembled.
Just as in the old Ma Bell days when the higher margins from long-distance revenues subsidized the high costs of local service.
He describes the previous, stable world of Ma Bell until 1969, the intrusion of new technologies and competition, divestiture, the impact of the Internet, and the plethora of corporate arrangements and re-arrangements that followed.
In a nation where Ma Bell publishes a paper, Canada asks itself: Are media owners too big?
one sees a continued breakup of American industry into small shops, like the dissolution of Ma Bell.