MCI CHARGES AT&T WITH UNLAWFUL LEVERAGING; SEEKS COMPENSATORY AND PUNITIVE DAMAGES
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- MCI Communications Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MCIC) issued the following: MCI Communications Corporation today charged AT&T (NYSE: T) with violating the Communications Act in connection with a transmission services contract with the Orlando Airport Authority and filed a formal complaint with the agency. In a competitive bidding process, MCI was ranked first by an airport authority evaluating committee but was denied the business after AT&T threatened to remove its "unique and state-of-the-art payphones" from the airport, MCI said in its complaint. "AT&T's leveraging of its equipment to sell transmission services flies in the face of the law," said James L. Lewis, MCI's vice president of regulatory affairs. "For AT&T to use its position as the incumbent or future payphone provider at the Orlando airport or any other facility by threatening to remove or not provide the payphones is an unreasonable practice that deprives customers of their choice of a long distance carrier." MCI says the payphones are the same ones that AT&T recently was found by the commission to be providing without proper authorization. MCI is requesting the FCC to find AT&T in violation of the Communications Act and to order the company to stop conditioning the availability of its special pay telephones on whether customers buy AT&T transmissions services.
MCI also is seeking damages from AT&T, both compensatory and punitive, and wants the commission to impose fines upon the company.
"AT&T is using its position as a payphone provider to adversely affect competition in the interexchange marketplace," said Lewis. "The practice is illegal, diminishes the opportunity for customers to choose a preferred carrier and is unfair to the entire long distance industry." -0- 10/14/93 /CONTACT: MCI Corporate News Bureau, 800-289-0073 or 202-887-3000/ (MCIC T)
CO: MCI Communications Corporation; AT&T ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:
IH-DC -- DC032 -- 2268 10/14/93 13:02 EDT
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|Date:||Oct 14, 1993|
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