Brussels US telecom inquiry

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The Independent Online
Brussels US telecom inquiry

THE EUROPEAN Commission has opened a full inquiry into a merger between the US telecoms companies WorldCom and MCI owing to concerns over their control of the internet. The decision echoes similar concerns in the US, where the companies face the main regulatory hurdles. "The Commission ... is concerned about the parties' combined market share in relation to the supply of internet backbone services," it said. MCI said both companies were confident the Commission would eventually approve their deal. Although both companies are American, they each have annual sales of more than 250 million ecus ($272m) in Europe - the level that triggers EU involvement.

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