DENVER, April 14, 2000 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), the broadband Internet communications company, today announced it has filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) its report on the manner in which it will divest its long distance business in the 14-state U S WEST territory.
"This report demonstrates what Qwest has said all along ? that we will completely and irrevocably divest our in-region interLATA business before consummation of our merger with U S WEST," said Steve Davis, senior vice president of government affairs for Qwest. "We are confident that we have provided all information necessary to enable the FCC to promptly concur. We look forward to passing this last federal milestone and completing our merger mid-year."
As previously announced, Qwest has negotiated an agreement to sell these long distance assets to Touch America, the telecommunications subsidiary of The Montana Power Co. (NYSE: MTP), for approximately $200 million. The sale will be completed when Qwest closes its merger with U S WEST. The divestiture is required by federal law to comply with restrictions that currently prohibit regional bell operating companies or their affiliates from providing long distance services in their local service region. The FCC approved the merger on March 10, pending long distance divestiture.
Under terms of the transaction, Qwest will sell Touch America its in-region interLATA business, including 1+, and related wholesale and private line services. These services are sold to about 250,000 customers and generate revenues of approximately $300 million annually. In addition, Touch America will offer employment to Qwest's sales agents in the 14-state region. The sale is subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Qwest is not divesting its interLATA business outside the U S WEST region, so customers in those parts of the country are not affected by this transaction. Qwest can reenter the long distance market in the 14 U S WEST states once it has satisfied certain requirements in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 25,500 miles in North America. In addition, KPNQwest (Nasdaq: KQIP), Qwest's European joint venture with KPN, the Dutch telecommunications company, is building and will operate a high-capacity European fiber optic, Internet-based network that will span 11,800 miles when it is completed in 2001. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Qwest with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including potential fluctuations in quarterly results, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to maintain rights of way, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, and adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties, for which Qwest assumes no responsibility. Qwest undertakes no obligation to review or confirm analysts' expectations or estimates or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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