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Punters wooed by MCI and Verizon

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MCI and Verizon have sought to reassure punters about the future of their $8.8bn merger following the bruising take-over battle earlier this year.

In a joint letter that acknowledged their rocky start, the companies thanked punters for their "understanding and support over the last few months" as they grappled to fend off the increasingly bitter and aggressive approach from Qwest.

Assuming that nothing else happens to sour the deal - they still need the necessary regulatory approvals, btw - the merger should be complete by the end of the year, leaving the newly enlarged group "financially strong and [ready to] continue its commitment to meet large business and government customers' requirements for reliability and innovation at a fair price."

Wrote MCI boss Michael Capellas and Verizon chief exec Ivan Seidenberg: "Verizon/MCI plans to invest in our combined infrastructure and in new products and services to better address your mission-critical communications requirements.

"In fact, we plan to invest $1bn to $1.5bn in expense and $2bn in capital during the first three years after the merger to maintain and upgrade our network and system capabilities."

Signing off, they said the merger would deliver real benefits for customers and that both are committed to "a smooth and seamless transition". Whatever. ®

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