Verizon Asks Court to Dismiss Frivolous Suit by Cavalier

RICHMOND, Va. -- Verizon today called on the federal court in Richmond to categorically dismiss a litany of complaints filed in November by Cavalier Telephone. Richmond-based Cavalier is a wholesale customer of Verizon that provides local phone service in competition with Verizon's retail operations.

"I have great respect for Cavalier's business strategy and success," said Robert Woltz, president of Verizon Virginia. "Verizon has spent untold dollars and resources trying to help Cavalier succeed, and we will continue to do so."

"However, Cavalier's legal and regulatory strategy appears to be confrontation for the sake of confrontation," said Woltz. "Frivolous actions like this suit waste the time and resources of both companies, not to mention the judicial system.

"It's surprising that Cavalier claims it's unable to compete when it serves over 100,000 access lines, and also claims to be adding 10,000 lines a month," Woltz said. "This success belies Cavalier's claims against Verizon. I don't believe the company is having business problems, but if it is, it's not because of Verizon."

Cavalier brought an antitrust suit against Verizon Virginia Nov. 1. The focus of the company's complaint is that Verizon "refused to make (local telephone lines or loops) available to Cavalier in a manner that would allow Cavalier to compete on an equal basis."

"We've heard most of these unsubstantiated claims from Cavalier before," Woltz said. "No one has bought them to date, and I don't think this court will, either."

In today's filing, Verizon argued that Cavalier has failed to state an antitrust claim under the federal Sherman Act. Verizon pointed out that the courts have already affirmed that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 "has an elaborate enforcement structure that Congress created for purposes of managing the transition from the former regulated world to the hoped-for competitive markets of the future... Antitrust laws would add nothing to the oversight already available" under the act.

Woltz said he is confident that the court will agree with Verizon's arguments and summarily dismiss all of Cavalier's claims.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.