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Understanding the structure of fieldbus standards means knowing their history. This paper reviews the evolution of international fieldbus standards in the area of industrial automation and demonstrates how the present situation of the IEC 61158 standard with its 18 different fieldbus systems came about. While the fieldbus standards seem to have reached a stable state, the upcoming application of Ethernet in the field of automation might create a similar conflict potential. We discuss the current status of Industrial Ethernet and the related standardization efforts.