PUCO Approves Merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic

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PUCO Approves Merger of GTE and Bell
Atlantic

Commission Rules in Favor of Merger

February 10, 2000

Media
contact:

For Bell Atlantic:
Bob Varettoni,
212-395-2283

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

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

David Bradford,
740-383-0191

Bob Bishop,
202-463-5233

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
process.

"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.

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