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PacBell Named in Antitrust Suit

June 06, 1997|(Karen Kaplan)

CalTech International Telecom Corp. filed an antitrust lawsuit against Pacific Bell that accuses the San Francisco-based company of illegally maintaining its monopoly for local phone service. Walnut Creek-based CalTech has been reselling local service to homes and businesses for nearly a year, said the company's lawyer, Maxwell Blecher. Since then, CalTech's customers have experienced extreme delays in having their service switched and in some cases have lost dial tones altogether, according to the 11-page suit. Aspiring local phone rivals AT&T, MCI Communications and Sprint have made similar complaints against San Francisco-based PacBell to the state Public Utilities Commission. "They stifle competition by making it impracticable for subscribers to go over to a new local provider," Blecher said. Pacific Bell executives could not be reached for comment. The suit, filed in San Francisco, seeks injunctive relief and up to $25 million in damages.

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