In the Matter of AMERICAN TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH CO. AND THE ASSOCIATED BELL SYSTEM COMPANIES Charges for Interstate and Foreign Communication Service; In the matter of AMERICAN TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH CO. Charges, Practices, Classifications, and Regulations for and in Connection With Teletypewriter Exchange Service
Docket No. 16258; Docket No. 15011
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
12 F.C.C.2d 167; 1968 FCC LEXIS 1011
RELEASE-NUMBER: FCC 68-341
March 27, 1968 Adopted
THE COMMISSION: COMMISSIONER BARTLEY ABSENT; COMMISSIONER
[*167] 1. The Commission has under consideration its Memorandum Opinion and Order on reconsideration herein of September 13, 1967 (9 FCC 2d 963), and a petition, filed by Bell System respondents on March 15, 1968, which seeks reconsideration of that Order to the extent that it requires respondents to file, by April 1, 1968, tariffs reflecting an additional $20 million reduction in annual gross interstate revenues. The petition requests deletion or indefinite postponement of the requirement.
2. One of the principal reasons for the deferral of $20 million of the reduction required by our Order was the uncertainty at that time with respect to the matter of increases in settlement arrangements between respondents and the independent telephone industry, and the effect of such settlement arrangements on respondents' earnings. Although the precise final amount of such settlements has not been determined, we are aware of the general order of magnitude of the amounts involved. It appears to us that the current trends in growth of earnings and revenues would be sufficient to absorb increases of such magnitude. Accordingly, if these were the only uncertainties present, we would not further defer the required rate reductions. However, a unique additional factor has been introduced by the combination of the pending request for a surcharge on Federal income taxes and the overall negotiations for labor contracts which respondents are now conducting. We cannot determine now whether the current earnings trends will, in fact, be sufficient to absorb all three of these factors and the required reduction.
[*168] 3. We believe that these uncertainties should be resolved by July 1, 1968. Accordingly, we are postponing until July 2, 1968, the time within which respondents are to file tariffs reflecting the required further reduction in charges. However, we reserve the right to issue a further order prior to July 1, 1968, if the uncertainties are resolved earlier, to require such action as we find justified by then existing circumstances, i.e., lift the stay, or modify or delete the requirement for further rate reductions. We are acting prior to the expiration of time for filing responsive pleadings in view of the imminence of the tariff filing date. We will, however, consider such pleadings in connection with our future course of action.
Accordingly, It is ordered, That our Order of September 13, 1967, herein Is modified to the extent that unless directed to do so sooner by the Commission, revised tariff schedules reflecting an additional reduction of $20 million shall be filed no later than July 2, 1968, to be effective on 30 days' notice to the public.
It is further ordered, that the petition for reconsideration, filed by respondents on March 15, 1968, Is granted to the extent indicated and in all other respects Is denied;
It is further ordered, that the request for stay, filed by respondents on March 15, 1968, Is dismissed as moot.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, BEN F. WAPLE, Secretary.
DISSENTING STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER NICHOLAS JOHNSON
(Deferral of Rate Reduction)
dissent to the Commission's further postponement of its July 5, 1967, decision
Commission, on reconsideration of that Order, has previously allowed
the Commission tells