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New Jersey Approves Bell Atlantic - GTE Merger

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New Jersey Approves Bell Atlantic - GTE Merger

June 21, 1999


Soraya Rodriguez,
Bell Atlantic


Bob Bishop,


Newark, N.J. -- The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities today voted
unanimously to approve the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, becoming
the 28th state to either approve the transaction or decline to assert
jurisdiction over it. Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice cleared
the merger, and shareholders of the two companies overwhelmingly
approved it. The companies expect to close the merger by the end of 1999
or in the first half of 2000, pending further state and federal reviews.

The following response can be attributed to William M. Freeman,
president of Bell Atlantic - New Jersey:

"We are pleased that New Jersey regulators have recognized the
public interest benefits of the Bell Atlantic-GTE merger. As momentum
continues to build for final approval, we have seen growing support from
labor and from business and community leaders around the state and
around the nation. We want to bring the benefits of this merger to our
New Jersey customers as soon as possible. We have strong local roots
here, and this merger will help us remain in the top tier as a global
competitor and as a local employer, neighbor and service provider."