Murders and executions

If you lived in Chicago in 1981, your phone company would have been AT&T, as was everybody’s. Then the government broke up the monopoly, and it would have been Illinois Bell, then Ameritech, then SBC. Now it’ll be AT&T again.

In New York, after AT&T dissolved, you would have become a New York Telephone customer, then NYNEX, then Bell Atlantic, then Verizon. It’ll still be Verizon, but MCI will now be part of that. You know, MCI — formerly WorldCom.

Pacific Bell Park opened in San Francisco in 2000, the new home of the San Francisco Giants. I thought it was pretty decent as far as corporate names go — at least it had “Pacific” in it, and the stadium was situated right on the Pacific Ocean. But then the Pac became SBC Park. I can only assume it will now be AT&T Park, which is slightly better than SBC Park, but nowhere near as good as Pac Bell, and much worse still than something non-corporate that won’t change twice in five years.

Had a bank account with Manufacturers Hanover in the mid-’80s? You got shunted off to Chemical, then to Chase. When I went to college in 1995, the school gave me an account with Northern Trust, which became NBD, which became First Chicago, which became Bank One, which is now — you guessed it — also Chase. I closed my account while it was still First Chicago, but if I had stayed, I would have been a customer of an astounding five companies in 10 years. That’s one merger every two years.

There’s something wrong about all of this, but we’re living in monopoly-friendly times. At least the world will finally be rid of the SBC logo, which I think is hideous.


3 responses to “Murders and executions

  1. As long as monopolies are coming back, I’d like to see a return of the Olde Timey vertical monopolies, so we can get stuff like AT&T soup and WorldCom toilets.

  2. You dislike the SBC logo? What …like AT&T is so fucking great?

    Come on!

  3. AT&T isn’t great, but it’s a lot better than SBC, I think. Besides, the combined AT&T/SBC has announced it’s getting a new logo. I didn’t see SBC changing their circa-1981 emblem even when they swallowed up every other Baby Bell in the region.

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