MCI Reportedly Seeking Bidders for Net Unit

From Bloomberg News

MCI Communications Corp. plans to seek other bidders for its wholesale Internet operations and related assets in an effort to get regulatory approval for WorldCom Inc.'s $41.8-billion purchase of MCI, Cable & Wireless said Thursday.

The statement follows a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Cable & Wireless, the No. 2 British phone company, to protect its agreement to buy MCI's wholesale Internet unit for $625 million in cash. The suit was filed in federal court in Washington, where MCI is based. MCI declined to comment on Cable & Wireless' claims.

The British company wants to make sure it gets MCI's fast-growing Internet operations, which would strengthen its position in the lucrative U.S. phone market.

Cable & Wireless said it learned of the plans from MCI and WorldCom executives.

MCI shares fell $1.50 to close at $48.63. WorldCom shares fell $1.81 to close at $42.25. Both trade on Nasdaq.

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