Bell Atlantic, GTE Complete Merger Approvals at State Level

March 2, 2000-New York and Irving, Texas-With the

approval of the Bell Atlantic/GTE merger today by the

California Public Utilities Commission, the companies said

they have successfully completed the merger approval

process at the state level. All 27 state commissions that

conducted proceedings on the merger have approved it.

The remaining 23 states declined to assert jurisdiction on

the merger.

"All states that ruled on the merger found it to be

pro-competitive," said Charles R. Lee, chairman and chief

executive officer of GTE and chairman and co-chief

executive officer of the new company. "These state

commissions received volumes of comments from the public

and our competitors. Most held extensive hearings on the

merger. All exhaustively investigated the merger and each

independently concluded the merger would benefit the

telephone customers in their state."

Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and chief executive officer of

Bell Atlantic and president and co-chief executive officer of

the merged company, said, "With the state commission

approvals behind us, we can now focus on our application

at the FCC, the last approval that is required for the merger

to close. The state commissions recognized that the

combined company's long distance, wireless and data

capabilities across Bell Atlantic's territories and GTE's

national footprint promise a strong competitor that will be

able to offer innovative service packages to satisfy

customer needs."

The companies submitted a formal proposal on Jan. 27 to

the FCC on how they will meet regulatory requirements and

proposed a set of comprehensive commitments to facilitate

prompt approval of their merger.

The U.S. Department of Justice has given its clearance, as

have shareholders of the two companies. The merger also

has received endorsements from the AFL-CIO, the

Communications Workers of America, the International

Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and many national and

local community-based organizations.

States in which approval was required included: Alaska,

Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa,

Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi,

Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,

Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont,

Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

More information on the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE is

available on the World Wide Web at