Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ, NASDAQ: VZ), branded as Verizon (//), is an American broadband and telecommunications company and a corporate component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It started in 1983 as Bell Atlantic (based in New York City) with a footprint covering New Jersey to Virginia and emerged as part of the 1984 Breakup of AT&T into seven "Baby Bells." In 1997, Bell Atlantic merged with another Regional Bell Operating Company, NYNEX, based in New York City with a footprint spanning from New York to Maine. The combined company kept the Bell Atlantic name. In 2000, Bell Atlantic acquired former independent phone company GTE, and adopted the name "Verizon", a portmanteau of veritas (Latin for "truth") and horizon. The company's headquarters are located in the Verizon Building at 140 West Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
AT&T breakup and NYNEX acquisition 
Verizon was founded as Bell Atlantic Corporation, by William J. Kathrein. It was one of the "Baby Bells" that were formed as a result of the anti-trust judgment against the American Telephone & Telegraph Company. Bell Atlantic then inherited seven of the Bell Operating Companies from AT&T (later known as AT&T Corporation) following its breakup. Bell Atlantic's original roster of operating companies included:
- The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania
- New Jersey Bell Telephone Company
- The Diamond State Telephone Company
- The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company
- The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Maryland
- The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Virginia
- The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of West Virginia
Bell Atlantic originally operated in the US states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C.
In 1994, Bell Atlantic became the first Regional Bell Operating Company to entirely drop the original names of its original operating companies. Operating company titles were simplified to "Bell Atlantic – state name".
In 1996, CEO and Chairman Raymond W. Smith orchestrated Bell Atlantic's merger with NYNEX CEO Ivan G. Seidenberg. When it merged, it moved its corporate headquarters from Philadelphia to New York City where CEO's Smith and Seidenberg shared Co-CEO duties. NYNEX was consolidated into this name by 1997.
Prior to its merger with GTE, Bell Atlantic traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the "BEL" symbol.
Verizon Wireless formation and GTE merger 
On September 21, 1999, Bell Atlantic and UK-based Vodafone AirTouch Plc (now Vodafone Group Plc) announced that they had agreed to create a new wireless business with a national footprint, a single brand and a common digital technology – composed of Bell Atlantic's and Vodafone's U.S. wireless assets (Bell Atlantic Mobile (which was previously called Bell Atlantic-NYNEX Mobile by 1997), AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications, and AirTouch Paging). This wireless joint venture received regulatory approval in six months, and began operations as Verizon Wireless on April 4, 2000, kicking off the new "Verizon" brand name.
Bell Atlantic acquired GTE on June 30, 2000 and changed its name to Verizon Communications Inc. It was among the largest mergers in United States business history. It was the result of a definitive merger agreement, dated July 27, 1998, between Bell Atlantic, based in New York City since the merger with NYNEX in 1996, and GTE, which was in the process of moving its headquarters from Stamford, Connecticut, to Irving, Texas.
The Bell Atlantic–GTE merger, priced at more than $52 billion at the time of the announcement, closed nearly two years later, following analysis and approvals by Bell Atlantic and GTE shareowners, 27 state regulatory commissions and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and clearance from the United States Department of Justice and various international agencies.
The merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, to form Verizon Communications, became effective on June 30, 2000. Verizon began trading on the NYSE under its new "VZ" symbol on Monday, July 3, 2000. GTE's wireless operations became part of Verizon Wireless – creating what was initially the nation's largest wireless company before Cingular Wireless acquired AT&T Wireless in 2004 – when the Bell Atlantic–GTE merger closed nearly three months later. Verizon then became the majority owner (55%) of Verizon Wireless.
Bell Atlantic's CEO Ivan Seidenberg and GTE's Charles Lee were co-CEO's from 2000 to 2002 when Seidenberg became sole CEO, a position he held until July 2011 when he was succeeded by Lowell McAdam.
Verizon shares were made a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on April 8, 2004. Verizon currently has 140.3 million land lines in service. With the MCI merger, it has more than 250,000 employees. Verizon serves customers throughout much of the United States.
In late 2004, Verizon sold its 20.5% stake in Telus, a Canadian telecom. This was so that they could focus more on its own services. The stake came from GTE, which held stocks in BCTel, a Telus predecessor.
MCI acquisition 
On February 14, 2005, Verizon agreed to acquire MCI Inc., formerly WorldCom, after fellow "Baby Bell" SBC Communications agreed to acquire former parent AT&T Corporation just a few weeks earlier. (That combined company took the AT&T name.)
Media coverage has focused on several ways in which that acquisition, once completed, would benefit Verizon, including economies of scale derived from a potential productivity boost to be achieved via the elimination of thousands of jobs at the combined company, and access to the large base of business customers currently served by MCI. The real benefit to Verizon was the acquisition of long-haul lines. The bulk of Verizon's business is concentrated in the eastern United States. This not only renders the company, effectively, a regional phone company, but also forced it to pay usage fees to long-haul carriers, such as the former MCI and AT&T, to complete calls for its customers whenever those calls go outside the Verizon "footprint". That need is obviated by the MCI acquisition and was key in the long term market position strategy. By January 6, 2006, MCI was incorporated into Verizon with the name Verizon Business.
Verizon, with MCI, was the largest telecommunications company in the United States based on sales of $75.11 billion, profits of $7.4 billion and assets of $168.13 billion. After its acquisition of BellSouth, AT&T became the largest telecommunications company in the world in terms of assets and profits.
In July 2008 the major phone companies, including Verizon, formed Movearoo.com. The website is designed to help customers with the process of moving by finding the home service providers available in their area.
Due to the rigorous climate and high costs, GTE Alaska was sold to Alaska Power and Telephone Company rather than be included in the Verizon merger.
In 2002, Verizon sold GTE's former telephone operations in 3 states: Missouri and Alabama operations were sold to CenturyTel, which acquired Embarq in 2009 and became CenturyLink, and Kentucky operations were sold to Alltel, which later spun off its landline operations as Windstream. In 2005, Verizon sold off GTE's former telephone operations in Hawaii to The Carlyle Group, This operation is now known as Hawaiian Telcom.
On April 3, 2006 Verizon agreed to sell its stakes in Verizon Dominicana (operating in the Dominican Republic), CANTV of Venezuela, and Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc. (PRT) in Puerto Rico to Telmex and América Móvil for $3.7 billion.
On May 13, 2009, Verizon announced it was selling all of Verizon's wireline assets in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin as well as some assets in California to Frontier Communications. These assets include Contel of the South, Verizon North, Verizon Northwest, Verizon West Coast, Verizon West Virginia, and two new companies created for spinoff, New Communications of the Carolinas and New Communications of the Southwest. On July 1, 2010, the transfer of these assets to Frontier took place.
Impact of changes in telephony 
The transition from land wire-based telephony to wireless communications has been a major change driver for all vendors in the telephony space, including Verizon. As of August 2011[update], the profitability of the company's "wireline" business had slipped substantially below that of its mobile division and continued to degrade, a situation reflected in and used to directly support downward revisions to "wireline" worker compensation, potentially impacting on the order of 45,000 workers in the United States.
Local telephone operations 
As a result of the various mergers and spin-offs, as of 2011, Verizon provides local landline services in 11 states and the District of Columbia through the following operating companies:
- GTE Southwest, Inc. – Operations in Texas inherited from GTE
- Verizon California, Inc. – Operations inherited from GTE
- Verizon Delaware LLC
- Verizon Florida LLC – Operations inherited from GTE
- Verizon Maryland, Inc.
- Verizon New England, Inc. – Operations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
- Verizon New Jersey, Inc.
- Verizon New York, Inc. – Also serves a portion of southwestern Connecticut
- Verizon North LLC – Operations in Pennsylvania inherited from GTE
- Verizon Pennsylvania LLC
- Verizon South, Inc. – Operations in Virginia inherited from GTE
- Verizon Virginia LLC
- Verizon Washington, D.C., Inc.
Products and services 
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Fixed-line Voice 
As of 2012, Verizon Communications is the second-largest fixed telephony provider in the United States. Verizon provides several different types of land line telephone services — standard Plain Old Telephone Service(POTS) service as well as VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and optical fiber line services. In addition, Verizon offers long distance services. Verizon also offers a product that is a joint venture with Microsoft called "Verizon Web Calling", a type of VoIP service used within Windows Live Messenger. See also Iobi.
Voice Messaging service is included.
Fixed-line Data 
Verizon provides High Speed Internet DSL Internet service in many areas where it offers phone service. DSL is offered in various speeds ranging from 768 kbit/s to 15 Mbit/s download, depending on what the local infrastructure can support.
Verizon began offering FTTP (Fiber to the Premises, or Fiber to the Home) to some subscribers in 2006. Verizon markets this service under the name "FiOS". It supports speeds up to 300/65 Mbit/s.
Fixed-line Television 
Verizon launched its FiOS Video service in Keller, Texas on September 22, 2005. FiOS TV uses an optical fiber network to deliver more than 500 total channels, more than 180 digital music channels, more than 95 high-definition channels, and 10,000 video-on-demand titles. Verizon also partners with DirecTV service as well to offer pay-TV services.
It was reported that on February 6 Verizon Communications formed a joint venture with Coinstar Inc., to offer a video streaming service. It will be available to anyone in the U.S with a broadband-Internet connection.
Wireless Voice & Data 
Verizon Wireless, as of September 2011, is the largest wireless carrier in the United States based on number of subscribers. It is a joint venture of Verizon Communications which owns 55 percent of the venture, and British-based Vodafone plc which owns 45 percent.
Directory operations 
The Yellow Pages business of Verizon is known as SuperPages, and is a Texas-based sales, publishing and related service with 1,200 directory titles and a circulation of about 121 million copies in 41 states. The web site receives approximately 17 million visitors a month. It had an operating revenue of $3.6 billion in 2004 and employs 7,300 nationwide. In a move to leverage against higher traffic sites, Superpages linked up with Google to provide search advertising services to its millions of listed businesses. SuperPages will offer its advertisers the ability to bid for Google search terms.
With an estimated $17 billion in assets, Verizon has spun off the business unit to finance its expansion in wireless and high-speed Internet services. Verizon is not the first Baby Bell to rid itself of its directory publishing operations; Qwest sold off its QwestDex directory services to become Dex Media, and Illinois Bell, now known as AT&T, sold its directory operations to R. H. Donnelley in 1990 ("AT&T Yellow Pages published by R. H. Donnelley").
Corporate governance 
Current members of the board of directors are: Richard L. Carrión, M. Frances Keeth, Robert W. Lane, Lowell C. McAdam (President and CEO), Sandra O. Moose, Joseph Neubauer, Donald T. Nicolaisen, Thomas H. O'Brien, Clarence Otis, Jr., Hugh B. Price, Ivan G. Seidenberg, Rodney E. Slater, John W. Snow and John R. Stafford.
Sponsorships and naming rights 
- The Verizon Center in Washington, DC
- The Verizon corner at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
- Verizon Championship Racing, a sponsorship partnership with Team Penske in the IRL's IndyCar Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series
- Verizon Heritage (2006–2010) PGA Tour event in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
- Verizon IMAX 3D theater inside Jordan's Furniture stores in Natick and Reading, Massachusetts (formerly called Motion Odyssey Movie, M.O.M.)
- The Verizon Sports Complex in Lake Placid, New York where the bobsled, luge, and skeleton track is located
- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre/Verizon Wireless Music Center in various cities across the U.S., including: Atlanta; Irvine, California; Noblesville, Indiana; St. Louis; Charlotte; Pelham, Alabama; and Virginia Beach
- The Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire
- The Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas
- The Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minnesota
- The Verizon Tower in Prudential Center Newark, NJ
- The Verizon Theater at Grand Prairie Dallas, TX
- The McLaren F1 Team starting at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix
- The McLaren F1 Team starting at the 2012 United States Grand Prix
Verizon Communications has been involved in several public controversies.
Tax dodging and lobbying 
In December 2011, the non-partisan organization Public Campaign criticized Verizon for spending $52.34 million on lobbying and not paying any taxes during 2008–2010, instead getting $951 million in tax rebates, despite making a profit of $32.5 billion, having laid off 21,308 workers since 2008 and increasing executive pay by 167% to $20.3 million in 2010 for its top 5 executives. However, on February 24, 2012, in its Form 10-K filed with the SEC, Verizon reported having paid more than $11.1 billion in taxes (including income, employment and property taxes) in 2009–2011. In addition, the company reported in the 10-K that most of the drop in employment since 2008 was due to a voluntary retirement offer.
On December 22, 2004, mail servers at Verizon.net were configured not to accept connections from Europe, by default, in an attempt to reduce spam email. Individual domains would only be unblocked upon request.
On May 11, 2006, controversy arose when USA Today revealed that Verizon, along with AT&T Inc. and BellSouth, had turned over the call records of millions of U.S. citizens to the National Security Agency. Verizon flatly denied turning over records to the government, but did not comment on whether MCI, which it had acquired in January, had done so. But on October 12, 2007, the company admitted in a letter to the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce that it had turned over customer information to the FBI and other federal agencies of the U.S. government approximately 94,000 times from January 2005 to September 2007, providing such information 720 times without being presented with a court order or warrant.
In September 2007, Verizon Wireless initially refused to make their mobile phone network available to NARAL Pro-Choice America for a program which allows people to sign up for pro-choice text messages, on the grounds that they had the right to block "controversial or unsavory" messages. They subsequently reversed the decision:
"It was an incorrect interpretation of a dusty internal policy, that ... was designed to ward against communications such as anonymous hate messaging and adult materials sent to children. ... [Verizon has] great respect for this free flow of ideas."
On February 4, 2010, 4chan started receiving reports from Verizon Wireless customers that they were having difficulties accessing the site's image boards. 4chan administrators found that only traffic on port 80 to the boards.4chan.org domain was affected, leading them to believe that the block was intentional. On February 7, 2010, Verizon Wireless confirmed that 4chan.org was "explicitly blocked" after Verizon's security and external experts detected sweep attacks coming from an IP address associated with the 4chan network. Traffic was restored several days later.
In December 2010 Verizon continued censoring its network by blocking access to some IRC servers related to Wikileaks "Operation Payback".
E-911 Failures 
Verizon E-911 service for the DC metropolitan area failed for a multi day period in the aftermath of the June, 2012 "Derecho" storm. FCC regulators have vowed to investigate the failure of the critical 911 call system, and the lack of timely notice to area public safety agencies of the failure. The FCC is investigating E-911 failures associated with a January 26, 2011 snow storm.
FCC Ruling Appeal 
DNS Redirection 
Verizon turns on DNS redirection option for its paying broadband customers by default. When customers accidentally type and enter a non-existent Web address they are redirected to the Verizon search screen. Verizon calls this option "Domain Assistance" and gives customers instructions on how to disable it.
Copper-wire removal 
In areas where Verizon has installed FIOS service, the copper lines are disabled. A customer that has switched to FIOS no longer has the option to switch back to regular copper service. In addition, because the FCC does not require Verizon to allow competitors to use the fiber lines, a customer with FIOS service will have limited options with regards to switching service providers for voice and internet service.
See also 
- Airfone — Air-ground radiotelephone service offered by Verizon
- MCI Communications
- Verizon SmartPark — Advanced Telecommunications Services
- About Verizon Wireless: Facts-at-a-Glance
- CBS MarketWatch profile, Verizon Communications, Inc.
- "Verizon Communications Inc. 2011 Annual Report, Form 10-K, Filing Date Feb 16, 2012". secdatabase.com. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
- "Companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average". CNNMoney. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- "Verizon | Company History".
- "Verizon — Investor Relations — Company Profile — Corporate History". Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "Customer Support Contacts." Verizon Communications. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
- Howe, Peter J. (June 17, 2000). "Regulators Ok Bell Atlantic-Gte Merger Deal Will Give Birth To Verizon Communications, Which Will Be Biggest Local Phone Firm, Telecom Giant". Boston Globe.
- Isadore, Chris (April 1, 2004). "AT&T, Kodak, IP out of Dow". CNN/Money.
- Verizon Sells Stake In Canada's TELUS, techdirt.com. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
- The Global 2000 for 2007, fobes.com
- O'Shea, Dan (July 9, 2012). "Telcos move in unison with Movearoo.com". fiercetelecom.com.
- Verizon to sell off Latin units, iht.com
- Verizon, Frontier in $8.6B deal for wirelines, google.com
- Murawski, John (July 1, 2010). "Frontier phone switch starts". News & Observer. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- Associated Press; Eltman, Frank; Thompson, Carolyn; Fouhy, Beth; Ilnytzky, Ula; Svensson, Peter; Nuckols, Ben; Pratt, Mark (August 8, 2011), "Striking workers picket Verizon locations in East as contract for 45,000 expires; sides meet", The Washington Post
- Leichtman Research Group, "Research Notes," First quarter 2012, pg. 6, Verizon (#2) with 12,626,000 residential phone lines.
- "Verizon FiOS: FiOS for Home". Retrieved September 6, 2005.
- "Verizon Combines Insane Internet Speeds With Sensible Value in New FiOS Bundles". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- "Verizon FiOS TV: FiOS TV". Archived from the original on February 11, 2006. Retrieved February 12, 2006.
- Bloomberg Businessweek February 6, 2012 “Verizon Forms Video Venture With Redbox to Take On Netflix.” http://news.businessweek.com/article.asp?documentKey=1376-LYZ56K6JTSEE01-2UVGCEH7L81A9LGP8S7KD56TLP
- "Verizon may sell $17 billion directory services". Billings Gazette. December 7, 2005.
- "Verizon online directory in ad deal with Google". Reuters. March 28, 2006.
- Ranii, David (December 6, 2005). "Donnelley likely to pass on Verizon directories". The News & Observer.
- Portero, Ashley. "30 Major U.S. Corporations Paid More to Lobby Congress Than Income Taxes, 2008–2010". International Business Times. Archived from the original on December 26, 2011. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
- "Verizon Form 10-K".
- Verizon persists with European email blockade, John Leyden, The Register, January 14, 2005
- Public Hearings Sought in Phone Record Scandal, William Fisher, Inter Press Service, May 26, 2006
- Verizon gave customer data to Government without court orders, Consumer affairs
- Liptak, Adam (September 27, 2007). Verizon Reverses Itself on Abortion Rights Messages. The New York Times, September 27, 2007. Retrieved from NYtimes.com
- Moot (February 7, 2010). "Verizon Wireless confirms block". 4chan.org.
- Verizon Wireless restores 4Chan traffic, Wireless Federation, United Kingdom, 2010-02-10, accessed 2010-02-12, "After the concerns were raised over network attacks, Verizon Wireless restored traffic affiliated with the 4chan online forum."
- Matt Schafer (August 9, 2010). "Five Sentences from Google/Verizon that Could Change the Net Forever". Lippmannwouldroll.com. Retrieved 2010-10-17. "Despite Google and Verizon’s claims to support an open Internet, the two-page policy proposal removes any hope of moving forward with the open Internet as we know it."
- Verizon Blocking Anonops: Verizon purposely blocking “Operation Payback” IP’s
- Juvenal, Justin. "911 System Restored". Washington Post.
- Clabaugh, Jeff. "FCC Quesions Verizon over 911 outages". Washington Business Journal.
- Zemen, Eric. "Verizon to FCC: Net Neutrality Rules 'Unneeded Regulation'", "Phone Scoop", September 30, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- Honan, Mat (September 30, 2011). "Verizon Appeals FCC Net Neutrality Ruling", Gizmodo. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- "Entering DNS settings in the Actiontec MI424WR router to opt out of DNS Assistance". Verizon.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Verizon's copper cutoff traps customers, hampers rivals". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
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