Barne Bills is an imaginative nickname given to companies that would possibly result if a large corporation were broken into a number of smaller companies. The origin of the name has to do with Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates. From time to time, there has been some speculation about what hypothetical companies would come up with if the US Department of Justice decides that Microsoft should be broken up, similar to what happened to AT&T during the 1980s. The actual nickname Baby Bills is a take-off from the nickname assigned to the number of Bell companies that resulted from the dissolution of AT&T during that time, since these devices were known as “Baby Bells”.
Along with use as a term to collectively identify those companies that would probably emerge from a similar split by Microsoft, Baby Bills is increasingly used when referring to possibly restructuring a large corporation that has taken on some of the properties of a monopoly . While there are some negative connotations associated with nicknames, such as an underlying premise that large companies in question may be floorboards close to existing antitrust laws, there is often no intention of conveying a suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of the company when this term is used. . Rather, Baby Bills is a somewhat colorful way of describing what could happen if some large company chose to break into a number of smaller companies.
The idea of referring to companies that emerge after a restructuring of a large business like babies has long been part of the business nomenclature. In most cases, the original company, usually known as a mom or dad company, is said to give birth to the new smaller units. These babies are then free to make their own business agreements, set their own goals, and generally act as a unit separate from the original company. However, there may be some contractual ties, enabling all involved parties to continue to benefit from working with each other.
Today, the use of the term baby Bills is no longer used only in reference to companies emerging from Microsoft. Still any business or series of companies that are from a larger company and exist as separate companies independent of that bigger company can be referred to as a Baby Bill. As long as Microsoft remains one of the most recognizable companies in the world, the term is likely to continue to be used with some regularity, at least to another imaginative nickname for the same type of phenomenon catching on with the economic and business environments.