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Bell Atlantic and GTE Say Merger Advances Competition In Telecommunications, Serves Public Interest

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Bell Atlantic and GTE Say Merger Advances Competition
In Telecommunications, Serves Public Interest

Companies Testify Before Federal Regulators on Proposed Merger

December 14, 1998


Susan Kraus,
Bell Atlantic


Peter Thonis,


WASHINGTON -- The combination of GTE and Bell Atlantic will advance the
pro-competitive policies that Congress laid out in the Telecommunications Act of
1996, James R. Young, general counsel for Bell Atlantic, told the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) today.

Young, during a hearing before the FCC on telecommunications mergers,
described how the Bell Atlantic/GTE merger will intensify competition in present
and emerging communications markets.

"The transaction will promote vigorous competition in all telecommunications
markets across the country, and make possible the widespread deployment of new
services and other benefits for consumers nationwide," Young said.

Young cited the forces driving the telecommunications industry -- technological
and regulatory change and, above all, consumer demand -- toward the formation of
national and global providers of a full array of communications services,
including local and long distance, and new data and Internet-based services.

"By combining the complementary capabilities of Bell Atlantic and GTE, this
merger will add an important new competitor to the top tier of national providers
that can offer consumers a full bundle of advanced telecommunications services
in all major markets," Young said.

He said the nation's largest long distance carriers as well as local exchange
companies already recognize the critical importance of this developing national
market, and have been busily assembling the capabilities to roll out national
bundled offerings.

"The merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE will create a fourth new competitor with
the necessary scale and scope to compete with the Big Three in this emerging
national market for bundled services," Young said. "The new company will have
a national customer base, the full array of competitive offerings in key markets
across the country, and the ability to create a national brand to rival AT&T's or
MCI WorldCom's."

Editor's note: GTE and Bell Atlantic on July 28 announced a merger of equals.

A complete copy of the formal testimony given by James R. Young is available
from the press contacts given at the top of this release.