EU Court: Regulators Wrong To Block MCI WorldCom-Sprint Deal

The decision is meaningless in today's business world, because MCI WorldCom's once high-flying stock--its bargaining chip in the takeover bid -- collapsed as the firm sank into bankruptcy. The EU decision, however, is something of an embarrassment for the antitrust regulators, who have suffered reverses in some recent high-profile cases.

The EU regulators had complained that a merger of Sprint and MCI WorldCom would dominate Internet traffic.

This week, EU regulators are meeting in Brussels with their U.S. counterparts, led by Hewitt Pate, of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, and Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Deborah Majoras. Although the meetings are an annual affair designed to improve communication between European and American regulators, it will be difficult for them to avoid discussing cases involving Microsoft and Oracle.

Microsoft, which lost its EU antitrust case earlier in the year, will be the subject of an appeals hearing Thursday in Europe. Another case involving an attempt by Oracle to takeover PeopleSoft hasn't been taken up by European regulators, although it has been widely reported that the EU regulators favor approving Oracle's takeover bid.

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This story courtesy of TechWeb News