Verizon Back in Lead Position for MCI

Verizon Communications Inc. on Monday said MCI Inc.s board of directors is unanimously recommending approval of an amended agreement for Verizon to acquire MCI.

Verizon has raised its offer for the No. 2 long-distance carrier to at least $8.5 billion in cash and stock, which is still well below the $9.85 billion bid Qwest Communications International Inc. has offered to acquire MCI, The Associated Press reported.

MCI previously declared Qwests bid superior and had given Verizon until last Friday to respond to a better offer than a bid valued at $7.64 billion.

Verizon first announced plans to acquire MCI in mid-February for $6.7 billion in cash and stock, two weeks after SBC Communications Inc. disclosed an agreement to buy AT&T Corp.

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