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WorldCom has refused to comment on a report that the telco is to lay off up 11,500 of its workforce.

WSJ.com said the outfit is set to shed between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of its staff citing sources close to the company.

WorldCom employs some 77,000 people.

It's understood the cuts will come in areas where WorldCom is not performing particularly strongly. However, its business data businesses are believed to be safe from the cuts.

A spokeswoman for WorldCom in the UK said: "We don't comment on rumour and speculation."

Quite so. But it doesn't take a genius to work out what the chit-chat around the water fountain will be today within WorldCom's little empire. ®

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