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PORTLAND, ME -- The Maine Public Utilities Commission today approved the merger of NYNEX and Bell Atlantic.
Today's action means that now four of the seven NYNEX states have either approved the merger or have not sought jurisdiction over it.
Ivan Seidenberg, NYNEX chairman and CEO, said, "We are pleased that the Maine PUC approved our proposed merger with Bell Atlantic, and that they recognize the substantial benefits of this merger to our Maine customers."
The proposed merger was announced on April 22. Shareowners of both companies overwhelmingly approved the merger at special meetings in early November. The combined corporation will serve 39 million telephone access lines in 13 states and more than 4 million cellular customers.
Wayne Budd, NYNEX senior vice president in New England, said, "I am delighted with today's decision. With approvals now in place in both Maine and Connecticut, I look forward to positive responses to the proposed merger from the remaining states in the NYNEX region."
Regulators in New Hampshire, New York and Vermont are now conducting reviews of the merger in accordance with applicable state laws. 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, and the companies expect to close the merger in the first quarter.
NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides a full range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications, cable television, directory publishing and entertainment and information services.