Thursday, September 30, 2004

EU Gives Green Light: MCI Worldcom Can Buy Sprint!

Better late than never, they must have thought when yesterday the EU's antitrust cops preventing the takeover from materializing in 2000 saw themselves reversed in an appeals tribunal. The Wall Street Journal from yesterday (page A16, link requires registration):

BRUSSELS -- In a fresh blow to Europe's antitrust enforcers, a top appeals tribunal said regulators wrongly blocked MCI WorldCom's aborted bid to buy Sprint Corp. in 2000.

While yesterday's ruling doesn't resurrect the deal, it improves the prospects that MCI, the successor firm that emerged from U.S. bankruptcy court earlier this year, could win European regulatory approval for a future merger. At the same time, the decision underscores European Union judges' willingness to overturn antitrust rulings, only days before EU lawyers are scheduled to urge the same court to implement antitrust sanctions against Microsoft Corp. EU officials also warned that it could encourage companies to withdraw mergers at the last minute to avoid negative rulings.
Wait a second, 'MCI, the successor firm that emerged from U.S. bankruptcy court earlier this year'?

Huh? I thought it was MFS Worldcom?