Attorneys for American Telephone & Telegraph Co. today sought to convince a jury here that MCI Communications Corp. misled federal regulators about the types of services MCI wanted to offer in the early 1970.
Raymond Burke, an AT&T staff attorney, spent the entire morning of the third day of AT&T defense in MCI's in $2.7 billion antitrust suit againt the Bell System reading from MCI documents filed with the federal Communications Commission.
Those documents repeatedly suggested that MCI's intentions during the early years of the Washington based company's business were to offer only basic "point to point" telephone service.
A major point of contention in the case is AT&T's argument that MCI never told the Federal Communications Commission that it intended to offer the so-called specialized telephone services.
MCI, on the other hand, argues that AT&T denied it access to certain specialized telephone services that MCI contends AT&T was ordered to provide AT&T competitors under a 1971 FCC decision.
AT&T submitted notes from a meeting attended by former MCI President John Goeken and an MCI attorney, Michael Bader, which said that Bader said MCI was "bulls------" about MCI's needs for those specialized services.
Goeken said, "I believe everything we [you and I] told the commission," according to the notes. "Wrong," replied Bader, "I was bull-------."
AT&T showed the jury dozens of documents today from the late 1960s and early 1970s indicating that MCI's plans at the time were to offer simple microwave telephone service that would link business offices, for example. One document said MCI planned to offer "essentially the same type of service as that of private microwave systems."
AT&T attempted to use this testimony to convince the jury that MCI misled the FCC and the industry as to their contentions.
As customary, U.S. District Judge John Grady recessed the trial at for the day at 1 pm -- but that occurred in the middle of the cross examination of Burke. Burke was asked by MIC attorney Chester Kamin whether his legal advice on what service AT&T had to offer was ever given by him directly to the company's former chairman, John DeButts.
Burke said he had not given De Butts legal advice. But Kamin also pointed out that even before the FCC made its landmark 1971 decision, Burke knew of MCI's intentions.
Burke admitted he knew of MCI's intentions to seek AT&T hookups to the Bell System's FX services, which allow a caller to dial a local number and connect with an out of town telephone.