New Name on Horizon for GTE-Bell?

Associated Press

Bell Atlantic and GTE Corp. reportedly will adopt the name Verison once their proposed merger is complete. Advertising Age magazine said an announcement was expected this week. The report quoted an executive with knowledge of the situation as saying Verison (pronounced vurr-EYE-zun) is an "inexact composite" of the words "vision" and "horizon." The combined company is expected to spend more than $300 million to promote the new brand name, according to Ad Age. The two telecommunications companies are awaiting approval by the Federal Communications Commission and hope to close the deal, originally valued at $52 billion, by the end of the second quarter of this year. The combined company would be the nation's largest local phone company. Bell Atlantic spokeswoman Susan Kraus said she could not confirm the report but said that the company has announced it was planning a name change and that an announcement was expected soon. GTE spokesman Bill Kula said the company had no comment.

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