Outlook: Maybe Sir Iain was right about MCI

Outlook on attitudes to monetary union, the WH SMith proposals and the new bid for mci
Then there were three. A month ago MCI was a pariah company and British Telecom was being widely condemned for wanting to buy it at all, even at the devalued price eventually negotiated. In short order MCI has now attracted two rival bids, the latest an all-cash offer from GTE, one of the US's biggest local phone operators.

BT may have stood an outside chance against WorldCom, whose offer was made in hyper-inflated stock. But this latest bid is all cash. Bar regulatory interference, it is hard to see how BT can fight it.

There are bigger cost savings available to both US bidders than BT, as an outsider, could ever have achieved. Even so, the fact that MCI is now so much in demand from others in the industry does rather vindicate BT's much criticised strategy.

It is just about possible for one telecoms company wrongly to identify MCI as a good takeover target - but three of them? It looks as if the City may have to send Sir Iain Vallance an apology.