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Verizon close to MCI deal - report

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US telecoms giant Verizon Communications Inc. could be on the verge of buying MCI Inc., according to the Wall Street Journal. Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper reports that the two companies are nearing a deal although they have yet to finalise the acquisition price or the appointment of senior execs.

Details of a possible deal between the two could be announced within the next couple of days, said the paper, coming hot on the heals of SBC's decision to blow $16bn (£8.5bn) acquiring former parent AT&T..

Last week there were reports that Qwest Communications International Inc. had bid $6.3bn (£3.3bn) for MCI - the telco formerly known as WorldCom which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April last year following its damaging $11bn (£5.8bn) accounting scandal.

Coincidentally, when MCI was still called WorldCom the company held merger talks with Verizon about a possible merger. But at the trial of former WorldCom chief exec Bernie Ebbers, CFO Scott Sullivan testified that the proposed deal in 2001 was scrapped amid fears that Verizon would uncover the accounting fraud when looking over WorldCom's books. ®

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