Verizon Communications began its existence in 1984 as Bell Atlantic. Bell Atlantic was one of seven “Baby Bells” created by the government breakup of the Bell System, also known as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T). Prior to 1984, AT&T was the largest private business enterprise in the world. Several events contributed to the divestiture of AT&T, most notably the antitrust suit filed in 1974, charging that AT&T had unlawfully monopolized the telecommunications market. The divestiture resulted in the creation of seven regional holding companies. One of those, Bell Atlantic was based out of Philadelphia and provided telecommunications services in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersy, Virginia, West Virginia, and District of Columbia.
Two mergers were key in the evolution of Bell Atlantic to Verizon Communications. The first occurred in 1994 when Bell Atlantic and NYNEX agreed to form a wireless joint partnership. NYNEX was another of the original seven “Baby Bells.” NYNEX was based in New York and offered service in New York and New England. The company’s name represented the areas it serviced. “NY” representing New York, “NE” representing New England, with the “x” referring to an undefined future. This merger was the beginning of current-day Verizon Wireless and eventually resulted in the full merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX in 1996.
The second merger key in the evolution of Verizon Communications occurred in June 2000 when Bell Atlantic merged with GTE and renamed the company Verizon Communications. GTE, created in 1918, was the largest independent telephone company in the United States and one of the largest international telecommunications companies. Its 1999 revenue totaled $25 billion and provided service to over 35 million land lines and 7.1 million wireless customers. The merger with Bell Atlantic combined the strengths of both companies, joining Bell...