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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA



United States of America,    

                  Plaintiff,

                  v.

SBC Communications, Inc. and      
AT&T Corp.,

                  Defendants.


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Civil Action No.: 1:05CV02102 (EGS)
United States of America,    

                  Plaintiff,

                  v.

Verizon Communications Inc. and   
MCI, Inc.,

                  Defendants.


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Civil Action No.: 1:05CV02103 (EGS)

OPPOSITION OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE NEW JERSEY RATE COUNSEL'S
"MOTION" TO MODIFY PROTECTIVE ORDERS

The United States opposes the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel's "motion"(1) to modify the Court's Protective Order entered on July 25, 2006 in relation to the unredacted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Orders and to modify the pending proposed protective orders in relation to the United States' submission of materials. We object to Rate Counsel's motion on the grounds that (1) the Court has not granted it leave to participate in these proceedings in any manner; (2) it has not specified what information it proposes to submit so we have no way to judge the information's relevance; and (3) it appears to be asking the Court to relieve it of the restrictions on the use of confidential information imposed by the FCC and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities as opposed to requesting such relief from those agencies or from the parties whose information it wishes to disclose.

Conclusion

The Court should deny the Rate Counsel's "motion" for modification of the Protective Order and subsequent protective orders.

    Respectfully submitted,


  _______________/s/________________
Laury E. Bobbish
Assistant Chief

_______________/s/________________
Claude F. Scott, Jr. (D.C. Bar No. 414906)
Matthew C. Hammond
Trial Attorneys

Telecommunications & Media Section
Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
1401 H Street, N.W., Suite 8000
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 514-5621
Attorneys for the United States


FOOTNOTES

1. The Rate Counsel (also referred to as the Rate Payer Advocate) filed a letter, rather than a motion, with the Court making its request. For convenience, we are referring to it as a motion.