Location: Denver, Colorado
Started: 1984
Sold to/Ended: Purchased by Qwest Communications International, 2000

U S WEST was one of the seven "baby Bells" formed at the break-up of AT&T in 1984. (The others were Nynex (in New York and New England), BellSouth and Ameritech (in the Midwest), Southwestern Bell, and Pacific Telesis (in California and Nevada). U S WEST's territory was the fourteen states of what had been Mountain Bell, Northwestern Bell and Pacific Northwest Bell (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming). Geographically, this territory covered many more square miles than that of any of the other new companies. However, those miles were extremely difficult to serve, containing the rugged terrain of mountains and deserts and some of the least telephone-plant-friendly weather in the world.

In 1995, U S WEST, Inc. divided itself into two nearly equal fully owned companies:
U S WEST Media Group, and the U S WEST Communications Group. While the U S WEST leadership in this way didn't talk about the division, this move made the two halves attractive and affordable buyout targets. Sure enough, AT&T paid a premium price for Media Group in 1998.

After flirting with Global Crossing Ltd. in a merger plan which included the purchase of Frontier Corp. (formerly the Rochester Telephone Co.) in May 1999, U S WEST Communications agreed to a buyout by Qwest Communications International in July 1999; the deal was consummated in July 2000.

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PICTURED: (above, beginning of article) A specimen of a US West stock certificate (THG file photo).