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BELL ATLANTIC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: February 7, 1995 Paul Miller, 804-772-1460

BELL ATLANTIC SUES AT&T FOR FALSE AND MISLEADING ADS


NEWARK, NJ -- Bell Atlantic today charged AT&T with false and misleading advertising in a suit filed in New Jersey's U.S. District Court.

"They've pulled the wool over our customers' eyes one time too many. AT&T should start using its true voice in its advertising," said James Young, Bell Atlantic's vice president and general counsel.

The suit alleges that AT&T deceived the public in advertising campaigns conducted in New Jersey and neighboring states. AT&T's ads promise residential and business customers savings on toll calls within certain area codes compared to Bell Atlantic's rates, without disclosing that such savings are based entirely on a promotional rate that expires in a short period of time. Most recently, AT&T has been making such claims in New Jersey in bill inserts sent to residential customers and in newspaper ads aimed at business customers.

"What AT&T is failing to tell customers in these ads, and what customers do not realize, is that these so-called savings will evaporate in just a matter of weeks when the promotional rates are scheduled to expire. When that happens, Bell Atlantic's rates, not AT&T's, will be lower," Young said.

AT&T's practices have resulted in an erosion of Bell Atlantic's customer base, Young asserted.

Bell Atlantic's suit seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction ordering AT&T to discontinue its misleading advertising. The injunction also would require AT&T to issue corrective advertising that would retract the false and misleading claims contained in the earlier ads.

In addition, the suit seeks to recover the profits that AT&T has realized as a result of its misleading ad campaigns, as well as all damages sustained by Bell Atlantic.

Bell Atlantic Corporation, based in Philadelphia, is the parent of companies which provide a full array of local exchange telecommunications services in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The corporation is at the forefront of developing a variety of new products, including video, entertainment, and information services.

Bell Atlantic also owns an interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is the parent of companies that provide business systems services for customer-based information technology throughout the U.S. and internationally.

In addition, Bell Atlantic is the parent of one of the nation's largest cellular carriers and has an ownership position in cellular properties internationally, including Grupo Iusacell, S.A. de C.V., Mexico's largest independent cellular company.