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                                                       DA 04-2093
                                                    July 13, 2004

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

                      CC DOCKET NO.  98-184

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

     On April 28, 2004, Verizon Communications, Inc. 
(``Verizon'') 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 Bell Atlantic/GTE 
Merger Order1 for all periods beginning on or after January 1, 
2005. 2  Condition XXII of the Commission's Merger Order requires 
Verizon 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 Verizon's request effectively asks the 
Commission to eliminate Condition XXII 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    Application of GTE Corporation, Transferor, and Bell 
Atlantic Corporation, Transferee, For Consent to Transfer Control 
of Domestic and International Sections 214 and 310 Authorizations 
and Application to Transfer Control of a Submarine Cable Landing 
License, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 14032 (2000) 
(``Merger Order'').  The Enforcement Bureau is also seeking 
comment on a similar request by SBC with respect to the  
SBC/Ameritech Merger audit requirements in CC Docket No. 98-141.  
See Public Notice, ``Enforcement Bureau Seeks Comment on SBC's 
Request to Discontinue Audit of SBC's Compliance with Merger 
Conditions,'' DA 04-2092 (rel. July 13, 2004).

2    See Letter from Jeffrey W. Ward, Senior Vice President, 
Regulatory Compliance, Verizon, to William H. Davenport, Chief, 
Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal 
Communications Commission, dated April 28, 2004 (``Verizon 
Request'') (attached to this Public Notice).  Pursuant to the 
Bureau's request, Verizon supplemented its request with a filing 
on June 22, 2004, providing additional information regarding the 
conditions that sunset after December 31, 2004.  See Letter from 
Sara Cole, Associate Director, Federal Regulatory Advocacy, 
Verizon, to William H. Davenport, Chief, Investigations and 
Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications 
Commission, dated June 22, 2004 (attached to this Public Notice).  

3    Merger Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 14190-93,  336-342 (Appendix 
D, 15 FCC Rcd at 14327-28,  56).  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.