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Verizon To Buy MCI For $6.7 Billion

NEW YORK (AP) -- Verizon Communications Inc. has won the bidding to acquire MCI Corp., a swift response to the buyout of rival AT&T Corp. by SBC Communications Inc. and the third big telephone industry merger in two months, The Associated Press learned early Monday.

The agreement, scuttling a rival bid by Qwest Communications International Inc., was expected to be announced Monday morning, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The purchase price of about $6.7 billion, about a half billion dollars below what Qwest offered, was approved by the boards of directors at both Verizon and MCI after a busy weekend of negotiations, the sources said.

Both companies declined comment to the AP.

The sudden rash of interest in MCI, which recently changed its name from WorldCom Inc. after suffering bankruptcy and a huge financial fraud, was set off by the $16 billion deal reached two weeks ago between AT&T and SBC, a top rival for both Verizon and Qwest.

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