Virtually all countries are undergoing deregulation and privatisation of their telecommunications sectors. Yet despite the globalisation of markets, technological borrowing, and great similarities in public sector legacies across countries, the outcomes of deregulation and restructuring are not converging to a single point. Rather, the differences in national and sub-national industrial relations institutions have allowed key stakeholders to shape new market rules, or re-regulate the market in ways that privilege some actors more than others. The new rules, in turn, more or less constrain managerial prerogative and lead to substantially different outcomes for key stakeholders, including firms, unions, workers, managers, and consumers. This article uses evidence from British Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, and the Regional Bell Operating Companies in the United States to elaborate this thesis.