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MCI take-over gets thumbs-up

The shareholders, they say 'yes'

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MCI stockholders have given the thumbs-up to the merger with Verizon with 88 per cent of the votes in favour of the tie-up.

"This vote of support by our shareholders represents a key milestone in the merger approval process," said MCI boss Michael Capellas in a statement.

The deal is expected to close in late 2005 or early 2006 once it gets the necessary regulatory rubber stamps.

At the beginning of the year MCI - which used to be known as WorldCom - became the take-over target for Verizon and rival US telco Qwest.

Despite both Qwest and Verizon knocking lumps out of each other in what became an increasingly ugly take-over scrap, MCI opted for the $8.4bn bid from Verizon believing it was a safer bet than Qwest's $9.8bn bid.

Execs at MCI told shareholders that the Verizon option was the better deal and that numerous large customers threatened to cancel their contracts should the Qwest take-over go through. ®

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