When the Federal Communications Commission approved the GTE-Telenet merger in 1979, the agency set up structural restraints on the dealings between the two firms -- a model if different in scale for the commission's restructuring of the Bell System. GTE said Friday the company wants those conditions lifted.
Ten conditions were set up at the time of the action with the idea of preventing cross-subsidies between GTE's regulated telephone subscriber rates and the new competitive subsidiary. Later that list of conditions shrank to three after another FCC decision.
But in conjunction with its "Computer II" decisions -- forcing American Telephone & Telegraph Co. to market unregulated services, such as computer hookups, through a separate subsidiary -- the FCC also classified GTE as a "dominant carrier" that would be forced to offer these "enhanced" services, like those provided by GTE Telenet, through that same separate subsidiary.
Ultimately, GTE convinced the commission that it was not a dominant carrier, lke AT&T, but its operations for untariffed services are still under the separation guidelines.
On Friday GTE asked the FCC to remove all these restrictions. "Without a rational basis for continuing to differentiate GTE from the other non-AT&T companies, the conditions at issue lack support in law or equity," the company said in its FCC requested.
The remaining pieces of the original merger approval require the company to spell out in considerable detail the financing and information flow between the parent and GTE Telenet. There are also restrictions as to the relationship between the equipment and services side of the company.
"GTE has not starved Telenet, but fed it amply," the company said, referring to the FCC's fear that GTEwould not fund Telenet adequately to accommodate AT&T.
"No cross-subsidy to the detriment of telephone rate payers has occurred. GTE deserves to be placed in no different position that the rest of the unrestricted, unseparated non-AT&T companies," the company said.