MCI Rejects Qwest Buyout Offer

MCI spurns Qwest buyout offer

MCI has rejected an eight-point-nine billion dollar buyout proposal from Qwest Communications. It will stick with a seven-point-five billion dollar offer from Verizon. Verizon and Qwest, two of the nation's biggest telephone companies, have been battling for about two months over MCI, which operates a national fiber-optic network serving a lucrative roster of government and corporate clients. MCI's board has been worried about Qwest's financial troubles, including a 17 billion dollar debt load and the long-term value of the Qwest shares that would be used as partial payment for the buyout.

No comment yet from MCI. Denver-based Qwest says it will evaluate the situation before deciding its next move.