States OK Telephone Industry Consolidation
State regulators in New Jersey, New York and California have recently approved mergers of local exchange and long-distance telephone carriers operating within those states that are part of larger interstate and international consolidations.
NYNEX/Bell Atlantic. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved the merger of two major local-exchange carrier holding companies, NYNEX Corp. and Bell Atlantic Corp. The board decided that telephone users in the state would not be harmed and that the merger "should be allowed to proceed without further action." It added, however, that it would reassert its jurisdiction if the Federal Communications Commission or the U.S. Department of Justice should rule that the merger adversely affects competition or quality of service or harms N.J. consumers. Re Merger By and Between NYNEX Corp. and Bell Atlantic Corp., Docket No. TM96070504, May 22, 1997 (N.J.B.P.U.).
MCI/British Telcom. The New York Public Service commission has approved the merger of MCI Communications Corp. and British Telecommunications PLC. MCI currently provides intrastate long-distance service within New York. British Telecommunications is the largest telecommunications provider in the U.K., and provides telecommunications services in New York as a reseller. In approving the merger the PSC emphasized that both companies operate in a competitive market environment. Re MCI Communications Corp., Case 97-C-0001, April 21, 1997 (N.Y.P.S.C.).
PacTel/SBC. The California Public Utilities Commission has approved the merger of two of the nation's major local-exchange carrier holding companies, Pacific Telesis Group and SBC Communications Inc. Pacific Bell (a local-exchange subsidiary of Pacific Telesis) must refund $248 million over five years to California ratepayers for short-term and long-term benefits of the merger. The refund is one-half the total forecasted economic benefits of $495 million. Re Pacific Telesis Group, Application 96-04-038, Decision 97-030067, March 31, 1997 (Cal.P.U.C.).
Articles found on this page are available to Internet subscribers only. For more information about obtaining a username and password, please call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-368-5001.