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Baby Bells Sue Over FCC's Pricing Rules

September 19, 1997|Associated Press

All five Baby Bells asked a court to stop the government from requiring them to open their networks at certain prices as a prerequisite for entering the long-distance market. The lawsuit, filed in Washington, is the second in as many days against the Federal Communications Commission on the issue. On Wednesday, state regulators filed suit in a federal appeals court in St. Louis. In July, the same court dealt the FCC a blow by throwing out key parts of its regulations aimed at opening the $100-billion-a-year local phone business to competition. The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that individual states--not the FCC--have authority to set prices for would-be rivals to lease pieces of local phone networks or buy local service to resell. But in August, the FCC told companies they must use nationwide pricing standards. The Baby Bells are Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, SBC Communications and US West Communications.

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