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Verizon exec allays economic worries

Verizon COO Dennis Strigl said that his company is not seeing any impact on its business from a weakened U.S. economy.

A Verizon Communications executive said Thursday that his company hasn't been hit by a U.S. economic slowdown.

Dennis Strigl, chief operating officer for Verizon, addressed concerns about an economic slowdown impacting the No. 2 phone company's business during a Citigroup investor conference. Earlier this week, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson spooked Wall Street by blaming a weak economy for a rise in residential broadband and landline customers who couldn't pay their bills during the fourth quarter of 2007.

Strigl said Verizon hasn't been affected in the same way. Specifically he said the company's small business and enterprise business units were performing as expected. He noted that there had been a slight uptick in some wireless customers not paying bills, but he did not attribute this to a weak economy.

Instead, Strigl emphasized competition from cable rivals as a concern rather than the economy.

Shares of Verizon were up $1.18 or 2.78 percent to $43.63 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday afternoon. AT&T's stock was up only slightly 28 cents or 0.74 percent to $39.28.