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AT&T stands for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. On March 3, 1885 it became AT&T Corp., one of the world's largest corporations, so that it could handle the expanding long-distance business of American Bell Telephone Company. AT&T created most of the US's long-distance and local telephone networks, and in the process became the world standard of the telecommunications industry. In 1984 pressure from antitrust groups in the United States led AT&T to break up its local telephone networks into 22 regional "operating companies." AT&T continued to be the largest provided of long-distance telephone service in the United States until 1996, when the company chose to divide into three smaller companies. One of those smaller companies kept the name AT&T and continued providing long-distance telecommunications services.

 

美国电话电报公司是美国最大的长途电话公司,该公司的前身是1877年由电话发明者亚历山大·格雷厄姆·贝尔创办的贝尔电话公司。1885年美国电话电报公司经合并后成立,后来普遍以AT&T为人所知。1984年受联邦司法部提出的反托拉斯诉讼案影响,美国电话电报公司同意与22家地方性经营具体业务的公司脱钩,但它仍然是提供长途电话服务的最大的公司。1996年美国电话电报公司自行分解为三个独立公司:美国电话电报公司AT&T——规模较小,经营长途电话通讯业务;朗讯科技公司Lecent——制造电话通讯设备;NCR公司——经营电脑业务。

 

(本文选自人民教育出版社《中学英语文化背景知识手册》,2008年8月第1版)

    
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