|February 20, 1996
AT&T RIGS EQUIPMENT MARKET AND PURPOSELY INTERFERES WITH BELL'S CALLER ID
In an effort to monopolize the equipment and Caller ID markets, AT&T has purposely rigged the markets. Because of AT&T's actions, Bell Atlantic has filed suit against AT&T for $3.5 billion in damages.
The suit filed in the federal court for the Eastern District of Texas, in Texarkana, explains that AT&T and its equipment arm has been thwarting competition and hampering Bell's ability to offer services to compete with AT&T.
"AT&T has rigged things so we are effectively locked into buying AT&T equipment[...]" said James Young, Bell's general counsel. "AT&T really has us over a barrel."
Bell explained why AT&T blocks Caller ID, "If you're at home and see a long distance number pop up and don't answer it, AT&T doesn't get any revenues."
AT&T may use its knowledge of Bell's networks and marketing to take advantage of the system when the market opens up.
AT&T avoided the issues by simply stating that the lawsuit seems "specious."
AT&T's anti-competitive equipment arm, Lucent Technologies Inc., has an initial public stock offering scheduled for the spring.