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BellSouth to Pay $750,000 in FCC Settlement

November 03, 2000|From Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — BellSouth Corp. will pay the federal government $750,000 and change some practices to settle complaints it withheld data needed by rival Covad Communications Group Inc. to compete in the local phone market, regulators said Thursday.

For six months in 1999, BellSouth, which sells local phone service in nine Southeastern states, refused to disclose what it paid for equipment and stalled negotiations between the companies, the Federal Communications Commission said. Covad, which sells Internet connections using digital subscriber lines, needed the information to assess the fairness of BellSouth's prices for leasing parts of its network.

By law, large carriers such as BellSouth must disclose costs in negotiations, a step required by the government to boost phone competition.

In separate action, the FCC said long-distance companies AT&T Corp., WorldCom Inc. and USLD Communications Inc. agreed to pay $311,000 to the government for failing to list customers' calling options at hotels or pay phones.

Global Crossing Ltd. agreed to pay $80,000 to the U.S. Treasury to settle complaints that it had failed to compensate some pay phone owners, the FCC said.

Atlanta-based BellSouth fell $1.31 to close at $45.63 on the NYSE and Hamilton, Bermuda-based Global Crossing rose 75 cents to close at $23.63 on Nasdaq. AT&T closed off 44 cents at $21.56 and WorldCom fell $1.38 to close at $17.56.

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