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
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.