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GTE Corp. merged with Bell Atlantic Corp. to become Verizon Communications Inc. on June 30, 2000.
Prior to the merger, GTE had been the largest independent telephone company in the U.S. It provided local and wireless service in 29 states, as well as nationwide long distance and internet services for residential and business customers. Headquartered in Stamford, CT, the company was the first among its peers to offer one-stop shopping for local, long distance and Internet access services. Outside the United States, the company served customers on five continents.
The Bell Atlantic-GTE transaction – valued at more than $52 billion at the time of the announcement in July 1998 – combined Bell Atlantic’s sophisticated network with GTE’s national footprint to create new a leader in the communications industry. After receiving regulatory approval for the merger, Verizon began operations in mid-2000.