4. AT&T vs. MCI
rivalries att mci

MCI didn't seem like a giant killer at first. It was a startup that sold long-distance services via microwave towers to truck drivers. But chairman William McGowan, a hard-living son of a railroad engineer, led his company to do just that. Rather than duck Ma Bell's assaults (predatory pricing), MCI took her head on, filing a case that would lead to the monopoly's breakup -- and an antitrust playbook that others would use against Microsoft decades later. In 1980 a jury awarded MCI $1.8 billion. Two years later the government ruled Ma Bell a monopoly no more. David had slain Goliath.

Winner: MCI

--Ryan Bradley


- Last updated March 21 2013 05:44 PM ET
Join the Conversation
More Rivalry
Read Fortune's ebook Rivalry

Seven tales of competition that changed business forever. Available free to subscribers on Fortune's tablet apps.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.