Having seen its cash-rich take-over offer spurned by the board of rival MCI, US telco Qwest International is hurriedly revising its tactics to ensure that it doesn`t lose out to Verizon Communications. Meanwhile, Qwest has turned its guns on the likely merger between SBC Communications and AT&T.~
In a document released yesterday, it has emerged that Qwest has filed the first of what will no doubt be a lengthy series of protests in numerous US states against the merger, pleading to California regulators that the combined company would hurt consumers and businesses.
It has also asked that the California Public Utilities Commission add the merger to its examination of the proposed purchase of MCI by Verizon.~
"It is difficult to see how these two transactions could ever be found to be in the public interest," said Qwest in its filing. "Regulators will have to examine this level of concentration and evaluate its potential to harm consumers through higher prices, reduced service quality and less innovation.~
The move has been the subjected to a fair share of incredulity by SBC, whose spokesman Dave Pacholczyk was reported as saying that Qwest "seems to be of two minds. They want to merge with MCI, but they don`t want us to merge with AT&T. We`re mystified by the contradiction." AT&T agreed to be acquired by its former sibling SBC in January this year for $16 billion.~
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