Qwest Backs Out of Fight for MCI

After months of back-and-forth offers to try and buy MCI Inc., Qwest Communications International Inc. has pulled out of the fight for the ailing carrier, which stands to be acquired by Verizon Communications Inc.

Qwest Chairman and CEO Richard Notebaert at a shareholders meeting yesterday told attendees, [W]e arent looking at MCI. Thats over. Notebaert was responding to shareholder questions about Qwests viability and strategies in the market place.

Earlier in the meeting, Notebaert stated, I took great pride, real pride, as Qwest employees have in what our company accomplished in this endeavor. Of course were disappointed that Qwest board rejected our unsolicited offers. Frankly, we felt that it was kind of, from day one, skewed against us. [I]t became more and more apparent as the time and the days unfolded that there really wasnt an effort to negotiate in good faith. And so, we did what we always do. After an extraordinary effort by scores of Qwest people, we stayed with our disciplined approach and we halted our efforts.

Notebaert, responding to grilling by shareholder Jerry Armstrong, said Qwest spent between $5 million and $10 million in its efforts to buy MCI.

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