DENVER - Qwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) and U S WEST, Inc. (NYSE: USW) today filed joint applications for approval of their planned merger with the Federal Communications Commission and state commissions in Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. These follow August 12 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department. Shareowner meetings are now expected as early as the end of September to vote on the merger, which is expected to close by the second quarter of 2000.
The combination of Qwest and U S WEST, to be named Qwest Communications International Inc., will employ approximately 64,000 people and be headquartered in Denver. The merger brings together the world's most advanced network and provider of broadband Internet communications - Qwest - with the most innovative local communications firm and nation's leader in high-speed DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Internet access - U S WEST.
"We're moving aggressively to bring consumers the full benefits of this merger - more choice, better service and the latest in Internet, wireless and wireline products," said Solomon D. Trujillo, Chairman, President and CEO, U S WEST. "These filings are an important step. With this merger, customers large and small will have access to advanced broadband and Internet services with end-to-end reach and local touch. They'll see more innovative, integrated wireless and wireline products that are truly cutting edge - just what Congress intended when it passed the Telecommunications Act in 1996."
"This merger is pro-competition and pro-consumer," said Joseph P. Nacchio, Chairman and CEO, Qwest. "Unlike other recent mergers, this isn't about the big getting bigger with more of the same. Together, Qwest and U S WEST will create an Internet communications powerhouse that is all about growth, opportunity and doing more for customers. It will give consumers and businesses an alternative to AT&T's cable-telephony monopoly. But unlike AT&T's closed network, customers with the new Qwest will be able to choose their Internet service provider."
Qwest and U S WEST will link the nation's fastest, most reliable advanced fiber-optic network - with more bandwidth than AT&T, Sprint and MCI-Worldcom combined - to 29 million customers and a local network that is 99.2% digitally switched. Together the two firms have nearly 4 million miles of deployed fiber in the U.S. and worldwide. They will have $18.5 billion pro forma year-2000 revenue and $7.4 billion pro forma year-2000 EBIDTA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation & amortization).
Qwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) is a leader in reliable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. More information about Qwest may be found at www.qwest.com.
About U S WEST
U S WEST (NYSE: USW) provides a full range of telecommunications services - including wireline, wireless PCS, data networking, directory and information services - to more than 25 million customers nationally and in 14 western and midwestern states.
Comments Supporting the Qwest/U S WEST Merger
- U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) ? "I congratulate Qwest and U S WEST on the early filing of their joint merger application with the Colorado PUC. The proposed new company has great potential to expand the range of high-speed, broadband communications services to Colorado business and residential consumers. We hope the merger application will not be unnecessarily delayed and believe the benefits of the merger should begin to flow to our Colorado constituents at the earliest possible date."
- U.S. Representative Scott McInnis (R-CO) ? "I am pleased that Qwest and U S WEST have moved quickly to prepare the necessary application for regulatory approval of their proposed merger. The broader array of telecommunications services which the new combined company will be able to offer will ensure that the West continues to share in the benefits of economic development resulting from the telecommunications revolution."
- U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) ? "There could be no better partnership for the future of communications in Montana than Qwest and U S WEST. I urge state and federal regulators to consider this merger on an expedited basis so that the benefits of the combined company can be realized by Montanans without delay."
Safe Harbor: This release contains 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 and U S WEST 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 complete the network on schedule and on budget, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, the companies' ability to achieve Year 2000 compliance, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment, and failure to close the merger timely or at all. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which the companies assume no responsibility. The companies undertake 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. The Qwest logo is a registered trademark of Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries. The U S WEST logo is a registration trademark of U S WEST, Inc. in the U.S.
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