DIAL M FOR MERGER

GTE'S $28 BILLION CASH OFFER FOR MCI, ALREADY THE TARGET OF TWO OTHER BIDS, COULD SET OFF A NEW WAVE OF MEGAMERGERS

Now maybe MCI chairman Bert Roberts Jr. knows how the rest of us feel about those annoying telemarketing pitches. Last week his phone rang and the caller was Charles Lee, chairman of GTE Corp. I'll give you $28 billion in cash for the company, Lee told Roberts. Two weeks earlier it was Bernard Ebbers, the folksy CEO of WorldCom. Hey, Bert, how's about $30 billion in stock for MCI? Ebbers asked.

Who knows what the next call could be worth? The phone lines are burning up in what is becoming the biggest takeover brawl in American corporate history. The courtly Lee...

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