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
"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
"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.