Vermont Approves Bell Atlantic - GTE Merger

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Vermont Approves Bell Atlantic - GTE
Merger

September 13, 1999

Media
contact:

Joan Jamieson,
Bell Atlantic
802-863-0797

Bob Bishop,
GTE
202-463-5206

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The Vermont Public Service Board
today issued an order approving the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE.

"We are pleased that, as in many other states, the Public Service
Board has recognized the public interest benefits of this merger,"
said Louise McCarren, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic - Vermont.
"Our companies soon will be able to build on our individual and
combined strengths, to the benefit of all our customers. For example, the
combined company will have a stronger presence in the market for data
services, which will play an increasingly important role in the state
economy. Vermont consumers will benefit from a stronger
company."

In May, the U.S. Department of Justice cleared the merger, and
shareholders of the two companies overwhelmingly approved it.
Supporters include the AFL-CIO, the Communications Workers of
America, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the League
of United Latin American Citizens, Rainbow PUSH/Coalition, and many
business and community leaders from areas served by GTE and Bell
Atlantic.

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