The history of AT&T dates back to the invention of the telephone itself. The Bell Telephone Company was established in 1879 by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Bell also established American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1885, which acquired the Bell Telephone Company and became the primary phone company in the United States. This company maintained a monopoly on telephone service in the United States until anti-trust regulators split the company in 1982.
AT&T Corporation was eventually purchased by one of its Baby Bells, the former Southwestern Bell, in 2005 and the combined company became known as AT&T Inc.