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Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) is one of America’s largest telecommunications corporations. The company provides wireless phone, television, internet, and fixed-line phone services to over 93.2 million customers across the United States.

The company boasts over 220,000 employees worldwide. It has two major business segments: Verizon Wireless and Verizon Wireline. Verizon Wireless provides 58% of the company’s total revenue, and is the largest provider of wireless service in the United States. Verizon Telecom’s Wireline sector delivers advanced data, video, and telephony products to individuals and corporate customers, accounting for the remaining 42% of the company’s revenue.

In a recent deal, Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR) acquired 8.6 billion dollars worth of Verizon’s 4.8 million landlines on lease to small business and residential clients. Frontier secured a total service takeover of these lines on July 1, 2010, and all former customers of Verizon were effectively switched over to the new provider’s control.

Verizon Communications began as the Bell Atlantic Corporation after a court initiated anti-trust judgment against AT&T Co. The Bell Atlantic Corporation later became Verizon Communications after a merger with GTE on June 30, 2000. The merger was one of the largest in US history, and was priced over $52 million on July 27, 1998.\r\n\r\nAs a result of the merger, Bell Atlantic and GTE pooled together a total of 140.3 million land line connections in the United States, making Verizon Communications one of the largest service providers in the country. Verizon stock at this point was relatively steady.

Four years later, Verizon merged with MCI Incorporated, a smaller telecommunications company. At the time of the merger, Verizon was the largest telecommunications company in the United States, trumped only by the BellSouth-AT&T merger that followed, making AT&T the largest telecommunications corporation in the world.

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) still remains one of the most powerful corporations in the United States. With dozens of strong subsidiaries and a promising future in telecommunications technology, Verizon is shifting focus away from voice, pursuing high-tech partnerships with VOIP providers. It is expected that Verizon’s partnership with Skype will pit them as a long-term future rival with similar companies such as Cisco Communications (NYSE: CSCO) and Vonage (NYSE: VG).

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