MCI'S NEW EXTENSION

MERGING WITH BRITISH TELECOM GIVES THE AMERICAN UPSTART THE MUSCLE TO ATTACK LOCAL PHONE MARKETS

For more than two decades, scrappy long-distance carrier MCI has clamped onto AT&T like a demented terrier on a mailman's ankle and refused to let go. It was MCI's antitrust charges against the old Ma Bell that led to the breakup of AT&T's telephone monopoly. Now MCI is joining forces with British Telecommunications--Britain's formerly state-owned telephone company--to form an empire with the clout to go phone-to-phone around the world with AT&T and other giants.

In what would be the largest foreign buyout of a U.S. company if regulators approve it (an uncertain prospect, given likely resistance from rivals like AT&T), BT...

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