(p. 94) Western Union’s lawyers carne up with a dusty old New York Stale law, dated 1905, that said no one could buy more than 10 percent of a telegraph company chartered in that state without the approval of Albany lawmakers. Hard to believe, but it was right there in black and white and there was no possibility of getting the New York State legislature to understand why it was vital to build digital highways.
Talk about unintended consequences!
(p. 95) Originally, the law was written to stop Western Union from monopolizing the telegram business, but the law backfired and was used by the monopolist for its own protection.
Wyly, Sam. 1,000 Dollars and an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire. New York: Newmarket Press, 2008.