A.T.&T. Breakup Approved
Washington -- August 5, 1983 -- (AP) -- A Federal judge, as expected, today gave final approval to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company's plan to split itself into seven regional companies on Jan. 1.
A.T.& T. had agreed Wednesday to the conditions imposed by United States District Court Judge Harold H. Greene as a condition for his acceptance of the plan. Among the conditions was a requirement that the Bell System operating companies - and not A.T.& T. - have exclusive use of the Bell name after the breakup.
The settlement requires A.T.& T. to give up ownership of its 22 wholly owned Bell System companies and to get out of the local phone business entirely. The company will be allowed to keep its long-distance operations; its Western Electric Company manufacturing unit, and Bell Laboratories.
Plan 'Has Cleared the Decks'
Pic Wagner, a spokesman for A.T.& T., said the judge's final approval of the divestiture plan ''has cleared the decks for us to advance briskly into the competitive telecommunications marketplace.''
The judge released a nine-page order that acknowledged A.T.& T.'s acceptance of his conditions and tied up several loose ends involving issues that had been raised by other parties to the litigation.
Sales Outside of Territories
For example, the judge wrote that he had never meant to suggest that the Bell companies could not sell Yellow Pages advertising or telephone equipment outside their local operating territories. New York Telephone had petitioned for clarification on that point because the judge had ruled that the Bell companies could not use the Bell name or logo outside their operating territories unless the Bell name were preceded by a geographic modifier, such as ''Southern Bell.''
The judge also disclosed that the Communications Workers of America had petitioned him Thursday to clarify a ruling on the status of A.T.& T.'s pension plans after the breakup. The judge, noting that the union and A.T.& T. were now engaged in negotiating a new contract, said the issue would have to be resolved later.
The judge's action ends nine years of litigation that began when the Justice Department charged that A.T.& T. had used its control of the local Bell companies and their networks to freeze out would-be competitors in the equipment and long-distance markets.
Copyright 1983 The New York Times Company