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.