01.23.1997Financial

Mass. DPU concludes review of NYNEX-Bell Atlantic merger; New York PSC issues briefing schedule

Boston, MA  The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities today concluded its investigation into the public interest aspects of the proposed merger of NYNEX and Bell Atlantic and stated that NYNEX has satisfied state regulatory requirements to implement the merger.

The department noted that there is no statutory requirement that NYNEX obtain the department's approval of the merger.

Five of the seven states in the NYNEX region have either approved the merger or have not sought jurisdiction over it. Commissions in Vermont and New York are still conducting their reviews. The New York Public Service Commission yesterday issued a final briefing schedule, with initial briefs due Feb. 5 and reply briefs due Feb. 12. The next commission meeting following the briefs is scheduled for March 5 in New York City. Briefs were submitted in Vermont earlier this month.

Ivan Seidenberg, NYNEX chairman and CEO said, "I look forward to approval shortly by the Vermont and New York commissions and to closing the merger in the first quarter. The vitality of the Washington-New York-Boston corridor depends on the ingenuity, innovation, and interconnection of its people. The new Bell Atlantic will fuel the engine of growth for this information-intensive region."

According to Wayne Budd, NYNEX senior vice president for New England, NYNEX last year invested $607 million for digital switches, fiber optic lines, and other capital improvements in Massachusetts. This year the capital budget in the state is $625 million. "These infrastructure investments will benefit the Commonwealth, the company and its employees," Budd said.

The proposed merger was announced on April 22, 1996. Shareowners of both companies overwhelmingly approved the merger at special meetings in early November. The new Bell Atlantic will serve more than 39 million telephone access lines and more than 4.5 million cellular customers in 13 states and around the world.


NYNEX is a global communications and media corporation that provides a full range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The corporation is a leader in telecommunications, wireless communications, directory publishing and video entertainment and information services. NYNEX is also managing sponsor of FLAG -- Fiberoptic Link Around the Globe -- the world's longest undersea fiber optic communications cable.

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Jack Hoey 617-743-3677