Monday 3 July 2000
The merger of Bell Atlantic (BEL) and GTE (GTE) became
official in the eyes of Wall Street as the combined company,
Verizon Communications (VZ), began trading on the New York
Stock Exchange. It ended its first day at 55, up 4 3/8,
with 3.3 million shares being traded.
Charles Lee, former chairman and CEO of GTE, and Ivan
Seidenberg, former chairman and CEO of Bell Atlantic, were
on hand at the Big Board Monday to ring the opening bell as
trading in Verizon shares began.
The new company has more than 260,000 employees and is
effectively the largest U.S. wireless company, at three
times the size of its nearest rival, AT&T Wireless (AWE).
It is also the world’s largest provider of print and online
Vodafone (VOD) holds about a 45% interest in Verizon
Wireless, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.