WorldCom May Sell Sprint Assets

To appease objections towards their proposed merger, WorldCom Thursday reportedly offered to sell $45 billion in Sprint assets.

According to published reports, if WorldCom sells Sprint’s core wireline operations, it will
mark the biggest concession ever made to resolve antitrust issues arising
from a merger.

WorldCom executives are attempting to avoid blockage of a merger by the
U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission, the European Union’s antitrust
watchdog.

European regulators are concerned about the combined company’s power
over Internet pipelines and wanted WorldCom’s Internet unit,
UUNet, sold.

The Justice Department is
alarmed by the pending loss of a powerful competitor in the U.S.
long-distance business.

The companies have been struggling with ways to
allay those concerns without destroying the $115 billion deal’s economic
benefits.

The EU said in a statement that no decision regarding the proposal has
been made yet.

“The Commission wishes to emphasize that it would be premature to
prejudge its decision on the proposed merger given that the deadline for the
ruling is July 12 and that the merger advisory committee has not yet given
its opinion,” according to the statement from the EU’s Washington
Delegation.

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