PUCO Approves Merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic

PUCO Approves Merger of GTE and Bell

Commission Rules in Favor of Merger

February 10, 2000


For Bell Atlantic:

Bob Varettoni,

For GTE:

Theresa Lane,
419-744-3535; 888-934-1187 (pager)

Mike Berry,
219-461-2160; 800-616-3593 (pager)

David Bradford,

Bob Bishop,

MARION, Ohio -The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO)
today approved the merger between GTE and Bell Atlantic. GTE officials
said the PUCO's action is another important step in the merger approval

"In months of public hearings and voluminous testimony, we've
clearly demonstrated the merged company will bring numerous benefits to
Ohio's consumers and businesses that GTE could not provide by
itself," GTE Northeast Region President Joe E. Philabaum noted.

This latest approval leaves only one state - California - reviewing the
merger, along with the Federal Communications Commission. 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, the League of United Latin American
Citizens, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Organization of Chinese-
Americans, and dozens of business and community leaders from areas
served by Bell Atlantic and GTE.

GTE serves more than 850,000 access lines in the Ohio and employs some
4,500 people in the state.