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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C.
August 21, 1997

Press Statement of
Commissioner Susan Ness
on FCC's Approval of MCI/British Telecom Merger

Our approval today of the merger of MCI Communications Corporation (MCI) and British Telecommunications plc (BT) is an important step for competition both in the United States and around the world. Subject to important conditions and safeguards, MCI and BT will now be able to combine their expertise to compete in the global marketplace.

This merger may be the first of many others around the world in light of the market-opening World Trade Organization Basic Telecommunications Services Agreement, which will take effect January 1, 1998.

Our competitive analysis focuses on whether the merger of MCI and BT will enhance competition in the United States. I believe that this merger increases MCI's ability to compete in the U.S. local exchange market to the benefit of U.S. consumers. Consumers will also benefit from the fact that BT has lowered its settlement rate to virtually the lowest level in the world, and the cost of calling to the United Kingdom has now dropped to as low as 10-12 cents per minute.

Another important factor in our decision is the fact that the U.S.-U.K. route is one of the most competitive in the world. The commitments made and actions taken by MCI and BT ensure that these markets will become even more competitive. Given these factors, I believe the merger is in the public interest.

- FCC -