LONG-DISTANCE CARRIERS SUE PACIFIC BELL.Byline: Dara Dara (dā`rə), in the Bible: see Darda. Akiko Tom Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
Three long-distance phone companies filed separate unfair competition lawsuits against Pacific Bell on Tuesday, charging the local phone company with using privileged long-distance billing information for its new bonus calling program.
AT&T Corp., MCI Communications This article is about MCI before it merged with WorldCom. For other uses, see MCI.
MCI Communications was an American telecommunications company that was instrumental in legal and regulatory changes that led to the breakup of the AT&T monopoly of American telephony and Corp. and Sprint Corp. asked the U.S. District Court to impose an injunction injunction, in law, order of a court directing a party to perform a certain act or to refrain from an act or acts. The injunction, which developed as the main remedy in equity, is used especially where money damages would not satisfy a plaintiff's claim, or to against Pacific Bell's incentive program, which gives customers bonuses based on the amount of their local and long-distance bills.
Under an established agreement, Pacific Bell sends one bill to customers that also includes the billing for AT&T, MCI (1) (Media Control Interface) A high-level programming interface from Microsoft and IBM for controlling multimedia devices. It provides commands and functions to open, play and close the device.
(2) (Microwave Communications Inc. or Sprint charges.
Pacific Bell's new program, which gives customers points to ``spend'' on specific services such as airline travel, unfairly uses information about long-distance calling, the companies charge.
``Pac Bell is unwilling to make its own billing information available to competitors. That means MCI and other long-distance companies cannot offer comparable bonus points for local service - and we're not allowed to offer our customers rewards for using PacBell's local service,'' James L. Lewis, a regional executive for public policy at MCI, said in a statement.
Pac Bell, in a statement, denied any wrongdoing wrong·do·er
One who does wrong, especially morally or ethically.
wrongdo and said the suits were a ``desperate effort'' by the long-distance companies to get rid of its bonus program operated by Pacific Bell Extras.
``The information that the program uses to determine points awards is an aggregate sum, in response to customer desires for a simple, comprehensive program,'' Elizabeth Grandinger, president of Pacific Bell Extras, said in a statement.
Grandinger said the bonus program is the same as a credit card company giving points for a customer's total spending ``no matter what the dollars were spent on.''
AT&T charged that the awards program was aimed at gaining billing information ``under the guise Guise (gēz, gwēz), influential ducal family of France. The First Duke of Guise
The family was founded as a cadet branch of the ruling house of Lorraine by Claude de Lorraine, 1st duc de Guise, 1496–1550, who received of an incentive program.''
``This promotion by Pacific Bell disregards its customers' privacy in an attempt to gain critical data for its own marketing purposes as a means of thwarting thwart
tr.v. thwart·ed, thwart·ing, thwarts
1. To prevent the occurrence, realization, or attainment of: They thwarted her plans.
2. pending competition,'' Michael Antieri, an AT&T president for the Pacific region, said in a statement.
Pac Bell for years had a monopoly on California's $6 billion local call market until this year, when the state Public Utilities Commission gave long distance companies permission to offer local phone service.
Pacific Bell also will be allowed to offer long-distance service.