Qwest CEO 'Disappointed' At MCI/Verizon Deal - InformationWeek

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Qwest CEO 'Disappointed' At MCI/Verizon Deal

Disappointed but undaunted, Qwest CEO Richard Notebaert said his company is ready to "move on" after losing out to Verizon in its bid to acquire long-distance and Internet-access provider MCI.

BOULDER, Colo. -- Disappointed but undaunted, Qwest CEO Richard Notebaert said his company is ready to "move on" after losing out to Verizon in its bid to acquire long-distance and Internet-access provider MCI.

"I'm disappointed, but I respect the decision of MCI's board," said Notebaert, in brief comments after a speech here at the Silicon Flatirons conference. "We're moving on."

Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell, who was also present at the conference, said that the spate of big telecom mergers was somewhat expected.

"There's been some expectation for a long time that the [telecom] market would restructure," Powell said. Since the proposed Verizon/MCI merger, as well as the SBC/AT&T deal and the Sprint/Nextel merger are still under review at the FCC, Powell did not offer an opinion on the merits of any of the planned consolidations.

He did, however, note that the size of the respective deals says a lot about how Wall Street values wireless operations versus landline businesses.

"You look at a $41 billion deal for wireless versus [Verizon/MCI] for about $7 billion, that's a hell of a change for valuations," Powell said.

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