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                                                       DA 04-2092
                                                    July 13, 2004

ENFORCEMENT BUREAU SEEKS COMMENT ON SBC'S REQUEST TO DISCONTINUE 
        AUDIT OF SBC'S COMPLIANCE WITH MERGER CONDITIONS

                      CC DOCKET NO.  98-141

Comments Due: July 27, 2004 
Reply Comments Due: August 10, 2004

     On June 9, 2004, SBC Communications Inc. (``SBC'') submitted 
a letter requesting that the Commission no longer require it to 
engage an independent auditor to examine its compliance with the 
conditions of the SBC/Ameritech Merger Order1 for all periods 
beginning on or after January 1, 2004. 2  Condition XXVII of the 
Commission's Merger Order requires SBC to retain an independent 
auditor on an annual basis to conduct a compliance audit for all 
merger conditions in effect during the period, and to publicly 
file a report with the Commission.3  Because SBC's request 
effectively asks the Commission to eliminate Condition XXVII for 
future periods, we seek comment of interested parties prior to 
making a determination. 

EX PARTE STATUS AND PRESENTATIONS

     Because of the policy implications and the potential impact 
of this proceeding on persons not parties to this request, we 
find it would be in the public interest to treat this case as a 
permit-but-disclose proceeding under the Commission's ex parte 
rules.4  Ex parte presentations that are made with respect to the 
issues involved in this proceeding will be allowed but must be 
disclosed in accordance with the requirements of section 
1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules.5

FILING PROCEDURES

     Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's 
rules, interested parties may file comments on or before July 27, 
2004, and reply comments on or before August 10, 2004.6  Comments 
may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing 
System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies.  See Electronic Filing 
of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 Fed. Reg. 24121 
(1998). 
     Comments filed through the ECFS can be sent as an electronic 
file via the Internet to http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/.  
Generally, only one copy of an electronic submission must be 
filed.  If multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the 
caption of this proceeding, however, commenters must transmit one 
electronic copy of the comments to each docket or rulemaking 
number referenced in the caption.  In completing the transmittal 
screen, commenters should include their full name, U.S. Postal 
Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking 
number, in this case, CC Docket No. 98-184.  Parties may also 
submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail.  To get filing 
instructions for e-mail comments, commenters should send an e-
mail to ecfs@fcc.gov, and should include the following words in 
the body of the message, ``get form.''  A sample form and 
directions will be sent in reply.  
Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and 
four copies of each filing.  If more than one docket or 
rulemaking number appear in the caption of this proceeding, 
commenters must submit two additional copies for each additional 
docket or rulemaking number. 
     Parties who choose to file by paper should also submit their 
comments on diskette.  These diskettes should be submitted to:  
Ernestine Creech, Room 3-A247, Investigations and Hearings 
Division, Enforcement Bureau, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, 
D.C. 20554.  Such a submission should be on a 3.5-inch diskette 
formatted in an IBM compatible format using Word or Acrobat 
Reader.  The diskette should be accompanied by a cover letter and 
should be submitted in "read only" mode.  The diskette should be 
clearly labeled with the commenter's name, proceeding (including 
the docket number, in this case CC Docket No. 98-184), type of 
pleading (comments and reply comments), date of submission, and 
the name of the electronic file on the diskette.  The label 
should also include the following phrase "Disk Copy - Not an 
Original."  Each diskette should contain only one party's 
pleadings, preferably in a single electronic file.  In addition, 
commenters must send a diskette copy to the Commission's copy 
contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, S.W., 
Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C. 20554, or via e-mail at 
joshir@erols.com.  A courtesy copy of all comments should be 
provided in an IBM compatible format using Word or Acrobat Reader 
via e-mail to diana.lee@fcc.gov.
     Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by 
commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. 
Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in 
receiving U.S. Postal Service mail).  
     The Commission's contractor, Natek, Inc., will receive hand-
delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the 
Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Suite 
110, Washington, D.C. 20002. 
     -The filing hours at this location are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 
     p.m. 
     -All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands 
     or fasteners.
     -Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the 
     building.
     -Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
     Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East 
     Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
     -U.S. Postal Service first-class mail, Express Mail, and 
     Priority Mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW, 
     Washington, D.C. 20554. 
     -All filings must be addressed to the Commission's 
     Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications 
     Commission.

     Filings and comments are available for public inspection and 
copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference 
Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-A257, 
Washington, D.C. 20554, (202) 418-0270.  They may also be 
purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and 
Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington, 
D.C. 20554, telephone 1(800) 378-3160 or (202) 863-2893, 
facsimile (202) 863-2898, or via e-mail at joshir@erols.com.

     Comments and reply comments must include a short and concise 
summary of the substantive arguments raised in the pleading.  
Comments and reply comments must also comply with section 1.48 
and all other applicable sections of the Commission's rules.7  We 
direct all interested parties to include the name of the filing 
party and the date of the filing on each page of their comments 
and reply comments.  All parties are encouraged to utilize a 
table of contents, regardless of the length of their submission.

     For further information, contact Trent Harkrader, (202) 418-
2955, trent.harkrader@fcc.gov, or Diana Lee, (202) 418-0843, 
diana.lee@fcc.gov, of the Investigations and Hearings Division, 
Enforcement Bureau.  

     Action by the Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, 
Enforcement Bureau.


_________________________

1    Applications of Ameritech Corp., Transferor, and SBC 
Communications, Inc., Transferee, For Consent to Transfer of 
Control of Corporations Holding Commission Licenses and Lines 
Pursuant to Section 214 and 310(d) of the Communications Act and 
Parts 5, 22, 24, 25, 63, 90, 95, and 101 of the Commission's 
Rules, CC Docket No. 98-141, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 14 FCC 
Rcd 14712  (1999) (``Merger Order'').  The Enforcement Bureau is 
also seeking comment on a similar request by Verizon with respect 
to the  Bell Atlantic/GTE Merger audit requirements in CC Docket 
No. 98-184.  See Public Notice, ``Enforcement Bureau Seeks 
Comment on Verizon's Request to Discontinue Audit of Verizon's 
Compliance with Merger Conditions,'' DA 04-2093 (rel. July 13, 
2004).

2    See Letter from Jim Lamoureux, Senior Counsel , SBC 
Telecommunications, Inc. to William H. Davenport, Chief, 
Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal 
Communications Commission, dated June 9, 2004 (``SBC Request'') 
(attached to this Public Notice).  Pursuant to the Bureau's 
request, SBC supplemented its request with a filing on July 7, 
2004, providing additional information regarding the conditions 
that sunset after May 31, 2004.  See Letter from David 
Cartwright, to Diana Lee, Investigations and Hearings Division, 
Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, dated July 
7, 2004 (attached to this Public Notice) (``SBC Supplemental 
Letter'').

3    See Merger Order, 14 FCC Rcd at 14882-84,  410 -12 
(Appendix D, 14 FCC Rcd at 15034-35,  66).  See also Delegation 
of Additional Authority to the Enforcement Bureau, 17 FCC Rcd 
4795 (2002) (delegating authority to the Enforcement Bureau to 
carry out merger-related audit and compliance tasks).

4    47 C.F.R.  1.1200(a), 1.1206.

5    47 C.F.R.  1.1206(b).

6    47 C.F.R.  1.415, 1.419.

7    See 47 C.F.R.  1.49.