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MCI, WorldCom Merger Gets Green Light from DoJ

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) gave its final approval for the MCI-WorldCom merger today, and MCI promptly announced it signed an agreement to sell its Internet business to Cable & Wireless for $1.75 billion in cash.

In a statement released late this afternoon, MCI confirmed recent reports surrounding an expanded purchase by the British telco, which will now acquire all of MCI's Internet backbone facilities and wholesale and retail Internet businesses.

In May, MCI's sold its Internet backbone service for $625 million or 385 million pounds sterling to Cable & Wireless in an effort to get the proposed merger with WorldCom cleared. Today's purchase agreement now includes the transfer of MCI's retail Internet customer base.

"We have fully addressed the antitrust concerns of the U.S. Department of Justice and look forward to gaining final regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission," said Bert Roberts, MCI's chairman. "We are eager to begin delivering the many benefits of the MCI WorldCom merger--growth for our shareholders, innovation and value for our customers, and new opportunities for our employees."

The alliance between the telecommunications giants met with objections by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the European Commission (EC), all of which raised antitrust concerns.



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