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Verizon, SBC Pay $2.7 Million in Penalties

April 04, 2002|Bloomberg News

Verizon Communications Inc. and SBC Communications Inc., the two biggest U.S. local phone companies, paid a combined $2.7million in penalties last month for failing to give rivals equal access to their networks.

SBC paid $1.7 million to the federal government in March for not meeting access benchmarks accepted to win approval for its 1999 purchase of Ameritech Corp. Verizon paid $922,667; Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp. agreed to the conditions in 2000 when they combined to form Verizon.

The guidelines require SBC and Verizon to provide competitors with access to the lines and switches needed to provide phone service equal to that given to their own units. When the companies fall short for three straight months or for six months out of 12, they must pay federal penalties.

SBC shares rose 42 cents to $37.62 on the New York Stock Exchange; Verizon gained 10 cents to $45.50, also on the NYSE.

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