NYNEX Chairman Cites Benefits of Merger In Testimony to New York Regulators

December 16, 1996

CONTACT: Susan Kraus, 212-395-0500

NYNEX Chairman Cites Benefits of Merger In

Testimony to New York Regulators

ALBANY, N.Y.--Dec. 16, 1996--In testimony here

today before the New York State Public Service Commission,

NYNEX Chairman Ivan Seidenberg said that NYNEX's proposed

merger with Bell Atlantic will help lead New York State, its

businesses and its consumers into the 21st Century.

"This merger is good for NYNEX customers in New

York and for New York State itself," said Seidenberg, who

addressed PSC commissioners as part of a regulatory

proceeding to review the merger proposal.

Seidenberg added, "The merger will enhance NYNEX's

service improvement efforts in New York. It will enable

NYNEX to price competitively and to adhere to its universal

service obligations. And it will make available financial

and technical resources that will be used to develop new and

innovative products and services -- and to bring them to

market faster.

"Our agreement to maintain the headquarters of the

newly merged corporation in this state will certainly

enhance New York's image as the telecommunications capital

of the world and can be expected to lure new jobs and new

businesses to the state."

Seidenberg also addressed competitors' claims about

the merger.

"We do not believe this proceeding should be used

as an occasion to address issues that have been -- or should

be -- resolved in other proceedings."

Seidenberg cited the company's Performance

Regulation Plan, an agreement reached last year with the PSC

that provides for seven years of basic rate freezes, other

rate reductions totaling nearly $2 billion and service

standards that get tougher year-over-year, backed by a

guarantee of rebates.

"Our competitors are imposing rate increases on the

backs of their small long-distance consumers in order to

invest in a new array of services, including local exchange

services," Seidenberg said. "It is ironic that while we

have put in place decreases and freezes under the

Performance Regulation Plan, parties in this proceeding have

suggested that we also not be permitted to use synergy

savings resulting from the merger to make competitive

investments of our own."

At today's special en banc hearing in Albany, the

commissioners, the commission's general counsel and the

administrative law judge assigned to the case questioned

witnesses for NYNEX, Bell Atlantic and the other parties in

the case about the proposed merger. Questions were based on

pre-filed testimony that had been submitted by the parties

in the case, and public comments gathered during the course

of 13 public statement hearings held throughout the state,

Nov. 19-Dec. 11.

The proposed merger between NYNEX and Bell Atlantic

was announced April 22.

The combined corporation will serve 39 million

telephone access lines in 13 states and more than 4 million

cellular customers. Shareowners of both companies

overwhelmingly approved the merger at special meetings last


Of the seven states in the NYNEX territory, the

Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control voted

unanimously to approve the merger on Nov. 20. Regulators in

New York, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are conducting

reviews of the merger in accordance with the laws applicable

in those states. Two other NYNEX states -- Massachusetts and

Rhode Island -- have not sought to assert jurisdiction over

the proposed merger, although Massachusetts is reviewing the

merger within the context of its general supervisory

authority over telephone operations.

Reviews by all states are expected to be complete

by early next year.