Denver, March 20, 2000 — Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), the broadband Internet communications company, and U S WEST, Inc. (NYSE: USW), a leading provider of next-generation broadband and communications services, today announced that the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) has reviewed and cleared the companies' merger plans in Iowa. Iowa is the second of eight states in U S WEST's region reviewing the transaction to okay the merger.
The IUB's decision was announced in an oral ruling earlier this month and formalized in the Board's written order late Friday. A settlement with the Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate on several issues was reached in advance of the Board's ruling, paving the way for this decision. The settlement agreement outlined U S WEST's commitment to service quality standards for retail customers and continued investments in Iowa’s local network.
The Iowa ruling comes on the heels of the March 10th announcement that the Federal Communications Commission approved the transaction as in the public interest, contingent only on approving Qwest's plan for divestiture of in-region long-distance customers prior to merger completion. Colorado regulators approved the merger January 20. The other states with approval still pending include Arizona, Minnesota, Montana, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Settlements on various issues raised with commission staff have moved the approval process forward in Utah and Washington. Public hearings in Utah concluded this week. Active settlement negotiations are ongoing in other states.
"This order is great news for Iowa consumers," said Teresa Wahlert, vice president for U S WEST, Iowa. "It demonstrates our commitment that service will continue to improve in Iowa, as will the significant investments we make in this state. This decision continues the progress we're making toward a mid-2000 completion of the merger, which will bring customers a new era of innovation and service excellence."
"The decision in Iowa is another important step forward toward the completion of this merger. We are pleased the Iowa Utilities Board found the merger to be in the public interest and moved promptly to clear the transaction," said Steve Davis, senior vice president of government affairs for Qwest. "We will continue to work with each of the six remaining states to quickly bring the merger to a close now that the FCC has offered its endorsement."
The combined company, to be named Qwest Communications International Inc., will create a communications powerhouse, headquartered in Denver and employing about 64,000 people worldwide. U S WEST and Qwest will unite the nation's most innovative local, wireless and broadband communications firm with one of the world's most advanced fiber-optic networks and broadband Internet providers. Together, the two firms will have more than 3.4 million miles of deployed fiber worldwide, 29 million customers and a local network that is 99.2 percent digitally switched.
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.
About U S WEST
U S WEST (NYSE: USW) is a leading broadband and communications service provider, with more than $13 billion in annual revenues. U S WEST leads the industry in deploying next-generation broadband ADSL and VDSL Internet access and data/video services; offers the nation’s first and only 'one-number' advanced wireless service that integrates customers' home or business phones with their wireless PCS; and provides multimedia advertising services, including Internet and print directories. The company has nearly 2 million miles of deployed fiber in the U.S., provides local exchange services to more than 25 million customers in 14 states, and provides wireless services to more than 500,000 customers and data services to more than 800,000 customers nationally. For more information about U S WEST, go to http://www.uswest.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 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 maintain rights of way, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, Qwest's ability to achieve Year 2000 compliance and adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties, for which neither Qwest nor U S WEST assumes any responsibility.
Qwest and U S WEST 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.
|Utah Media Contact
|Utah Media Contact