BELL ATLANTIC AND DSC COMMUNICATIONS CHARGE AT&T WITH MONOPOLIZING TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT MARKET
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 1996
Nation's Largest Telecommunications Equipment
Defendant in Federal Antitrust Suit
Texarkana, TX -- Charging that AT&T designs its
switches specifically to prevent the interconnection of other
manufacturer's equipment, Bell Atlantic and DSC Communications filed a
lawsuit to recover nearly $3.5 billion in damages from the
telecommunications giant. AT&T has monopolized the market for both
equipment and software, as well as the market for Caller ID services,
according to an antitrust suit filed yesterday by the two companies.
"AT&T has Bell Atlantic over a barrel. Though we own a lot of
equipment, we cannot use it in the way that lets us provide the best
services to our customers. We just don't have a true choice," said
James R. Young, Bell Atlantic vice president and general counsel.
"DSC Communications provides aftermarket equipment and software with
superior features and functionality. If our customers use AT&T
central office equipment, they are unable to take full advantage of
our equipment's capabilities because of AT&T's monopolistic
practices," said George Brunt, DSC Communications' vice president
According to papers filed in federal court in the Eastern District of
Texas, "AT&T is purposely delaying and preventing the
interconnecting plugs needed by vendors like DSC." This practice by
AT&T is the continuation of a "long history of resisting other
vendors' attempts to plug their equipment into AT&T's," the suit
The suit gives specific instances of AT&T keeping others out of the
market in this way. For example, in 1986, the telecommunications
industry agreed on an interface standard to connect other
manufacturers' equipment to telephone switches. Though the standard
was adopted by other switch makers, AT&T delayed and sabotaged the
idea for years and still today has not fully incorporated this
The lack of this standard has delayed services like ISDN (Integrated
Services Digital Network) which could have been provided more
cost-effectively had AT&T embraced this standard in 1986.
The lawsuit also charges AT&T has crippled the "Caller ID"
that shows subscribers the number -- or name -- of the person who is
calling. Because AT&T sells a competing service, the suit claims,
AT&T intentionally blocked Caller ID information on most long
calls for years.
The Federal Communications Commission last year reviewed this issue
and ordered AT&T to stop blocking Caller ID information. The lawsuit
seeks to recover damages for the period when AT&T was engaged in this
Under the provisions of the antitrust laws, AT&T is liable for
and injunctive relief to compensate Bell Atlantic and DSC
Communications for lost profits and increased operating costs.
DSC Communications Corporation is a leading designer, developer,
manufacturer and marketer of digital switching, transmission, access
and private network system products for the worldwide
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.
for more information, contact:
- DSC Communications
Terry Adams, 214.519.4358
Eric Rabe, 703.974.3036
Bell Atlantic and DSC v. AT&T and Lucent