Rop Gonggrijp on Fri, 3 Oct 1997 12:27:32 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> The Future of the Internet is in Question as WorldCom Attempts Takeover

Date: Thu, 2 Oct 1997 16:41:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: The Future of the Internet is in Question as WorldCom Attempts


TAO Communications Stages Takeover Bid for MCI and WorldCom

42% Premium Over Current Stock Price
Significant Synergies Anticipated
Accelerates Local and International Democracy

Toronto Canada, Oct 2 1997

Toronto based trans-national not-for-profit TAO Communications is staging a
takeover of telecom conglomerates MCI and WorldCom. TAO Communications, a 
division of The Way UnLtd., operates on behalf of the public interest, and 
makes the bid as a defence of the open networks embedded within the

The two companies, MCI and WorldCom, own and control the majority of the
Internet Infrastructure, and combined the duo will be strategically
positioned to influence the emerging network economy.

TAO Communications has decided to make its bid as an effort to both
highlight the increasing corporate concentration of media and
communications, as well as continue the struggle for democratic and
universally accessible media. If the takeover is successful TAO promises to
equally redistribute shares in the newly formed company to every
individual living within proximity of either MCI's or WorldCom's

Backed by large unnamed institutions, TAO Communications' bid is
reportedly twice the size of either BT PLC's or WorldCom's bid for MCI.
"We thought of just bidding for MCI, but while we're at it we might as
well pick up WorldCom as well. That way we can reclaim the Internet and
return the public interest to the networks at the same time." said TAO
Communications' CEO Indiva Dual.

Under the banner of 'Convergence' the telecommunications industry is
consolidating itself, and accumulating substantial political power. Three
cartels are emerging as the landlords of the Global Information Society:
AT&T, Global One (Sprint, Deutche Telecom, and France Telecom), and Concert
(BT PLC, NT&T, Stentor, and MCI). Innovations in technology are creating a
media environment in which all communications may be created and distributed
within the same system. Whether termed the 'Information Superhighway' or the
'Internet' this emerging system will play increasing prominence in our
Global Village. Whomever controls this environment will have political,
economic, and cultural control over society.

During a press conference on Thursday in Toronto, TAO CEO Indiva Dual
expressed concerns over the consolidation of communications: "Somebody has
to respond on behalf of the public interest, and question the huge amount of
power held by a handful of corporations. We're enacting this take-over bid
as a means of divesting power from the cartels and reclaiming what we see as
public space."

Indiva Dual also cited Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers"

Members of TAO Communications will be participating in the Media and
Democracy Congress to be held in New York City between Oct 16th and 19th. A
gathering of over 1000 individuals and groups involved in media, and
concerned with democracy, the Congress will continue grass roots and
multilateral efforts to organize against corporate media concentration,
including the International Federation of Independent Media. If successful,
the networks will be opened up, and the public's right to communicate and
exist freely within emerging media environments will be reclaimed and renewed.

Indiva Dual ended the press conference by stating: "We don't want to own the
Internet, we want to give it away for free. The Internet isn't about
profits, it's about people." 

For more info contact TAO Communications:

This material is copyright 1997 TAO Communications
All Rights Democratically Defended
Possession of this document is permissable, except in the case of any
telecommunications corporation with a revenue above $1 million US Dollars,
in which case a charge of US$1000 per byte will be levied for any copy
possessed or reproduced.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 1997 10:55:54 -0400
From: Kevin Taglang <kevint@BENTON.ORG>
Reply-To: lists@BENTON.ORG
Subject: WorldCom-related Headlines for 10/2/97

Communications-related Headlines for 10/2/97

WorldCom Bids for MCI
        WSJ:       Ring Leader: WorldCom's MCI Bid Alters Playing
                    Field For Telecom Industry
        WSJ:       BT's Global Strategy Hits Wall in WorldCom Bid
        WSJ:       Would WorldCom-MCI Deal Lift Tolls on Net?
        WSJ:       WorldCom Bid Raises Question: Who's Next?
        TelecomAM: WorldCom Stages $30 Billion Takeover Bid for MCI
        WP:        WorldCom Rising Fast by Acquisitions
        WP:        Upstart Rival Surprises MCI With $30 Billion Merger Bid
        NYT:       Upstart Offering $30 Billion To Buy MCI, Using Stock
        NYT:       A Long-Distance Visionary

* WorldCom Bids for MCI                     *
Title:  Ring Leader: WorldCom's MCI Bid Alters Playing Field For Telecom
Source: Wall Street Journal
<> (A1)
Author: Steven Lipin & John Keller
Issue:  Mergers
Description: WorldCom, the nation's fourth-largest long distance provider,
unveiled a $30 billion bid to purchase MCI, a company more than three times
as large as WorldCom. WorldCom has revenues of about $7 billion/year. In
just the past three years, WorldCom has made five big deals totaling $20
billion plus a $2.4 billion stock deal to acquire Brooks Fiber Properties of
St. Louis.

Title:  BT's Global Strategy Hits Wall in WorldCom Bid
Source: Wall Street Journal
<> (A3)
Author: Gautam Naik
Issue:  Mergers
Description: British Telecommunications' global strategy, dubbed Concert,
may unravel with WorldCom's bid to buy MCI. BT is unlikely to match
WorldCom's bid which is worth $9 billion more. BT recently scaled back its
original offer to buy the 80% stake in MCI which it does not already own. BT
stock rose yesterday in anticipation that BT will make a profit on its 20%
share of the US's #2 long distance carrier.

Title:  Would WorldCom-MCI Deal Lift Tolls on Net?
Source: Wall Street Journal
<> (B1)
Author: Thomas Weber & Rebecca Quick
Issue:  Mergers
Description: If WorldCom is successful in its bid to buy MCI, the resulting
company may be within reach of dominating "the innards of the Internet." The
company would control 60% of all US traffic on the global computer network
and a large share of the traffic world wide. That control could allow
WorldCom to raise prices for Internet use. Earlier this year, WorldCom
started charging small Internet service providers for connections to its
network. WorldCom's vision is to change the traditional, "funky commune"
approach to exchanging data between ISPs (called peering) and turn it into a
capitalistic one. "Ultimately, that could signal the demise of the
ubiquitous $19.95-a-month unlimited access plans."

Title:  WorldCom Bid Raises Question: Who's Next?
Source: Wall Street Journal
<> (C1)
Author: Susan Pulliam
Issue:  Mergers
Description: On Wall Street, the hot properties are competitive local
exchange carriers (CLECs), the companies building networks to compete for
local phone customers against incumbents like GTE, Bell Atlantic and other
Baby Bells. WorldCom (an obscure teleco interest from Malaysia) has
purchased two big CLECs recently (MFS Communications and now Brooks Fiber)
and its bid for MCI has pushed up the stock for Sprint as some guess that
British Telecom may make a bid for the #3 long distance carrier.

Title:  WorldCom Stages $30 Billion Takeover Bid for MCI
Source: Telecom AM < >
Issue:  Mergers
Description: WorldCom's takeover bid would result in the biggest merger in
US corporate history -- larger than Bell Atlantic/NYNEX ($25.6 billion) and
RJR Nabisco/Kohlberg Kravis Roberts ($25 billion in 1989).  WorldCom's CEO
Bernie Ebbers says, "It is a superior offer to MCI shareholders to merge
with our company. We are offering a higher price, a higher premium, and a
higher performing stock than BT," Ebbers said, underscoring the "common
sense" he said the merger makes. "This is a shareholder issue. This is not a
management ego issue. This is what is best for shareholders." Referring to
MCI shareholders' interests, Ebbers was boastful of WorldCom's financial
performance since going public in 1989, especially as contrasted with BT and
MCI. "If you had invested $100 in WorldCom in 1989, it would now be worth
$3,122. That same $100 invested with BT in 1989 would be worth $190; with
MCI it would be worth $130. You aren't going to find many shareholders who
object to the kind of numbers being offered."

Title:  WorldCom Rising Fast by Acquisitions
Source: Washington Post (A1)
Author:  Paul Farhi
Issue:  Telecommunications Merger
Description: Worldcom Inc., a 14-year old long distance company based in
a Southern city, has made a surprising $30 bill. bid for MCI Communications
Corp. This low-profile company is actually an aggressively expanding one,
due to many other company buyouts. Worldcom's CEO, Bernard Ebbers, wants to
place his company
at No.2 in the long distance business, with only British Telecommunications
in the way. Despite their low-key status in the game, Ebbers was confident
when he jokingly said, "After we finish the deal with MCI we might acquire

Title:  Upstart Rival Surprises MCI With $30 Billion Merger Bid
Source: Washington Post (A1)
Author: Mike Mills
Issue:  Telecommunications Merger
Description:   Proposing what could be known as the highest-priced merger
in history, Worldcom, a low-profile LD company based in Miss., made a
last-minute bid of $30 billion in common stock currency for Washington-based
MCI Communications Corp. in an effort to wrest it away from British
Telecomm. PLC, who also had plans to buy the company. The allure of the
offer hinges on the steady strength of Worldcom's stock. Combined, MCI and
Worldcom would become the No.2 long-distance giant, right behind AT&T. The
companies together would carry more than half of the Internet's traffic, and
be more than ready to take on the Bell regional companies. Worldcom said
that service would be unchanged, but wouldn't comment on the possibility of
layoffs at MCI. Nevertheless, the record-breaking merger has analysts
anticipating the arrival of competition in the monopolized local phone

Title:  A Stock Response
Source: Washington Post (C1)
Author: Brett D. Fromson
Issue:  Telecommunications Merger
Description: Worldcom plans to buy MCI for about $30 bill. through simply
issuing more shares of common stock and then exchanging them for all the
outstanding MCI shares. This is a "deal for 90's", where common stock shares
are the currency of choice in mergers. The willingness of sellers to accept
shares in companies like Worldcom is the fuel behind this huge bid. Raghu
Ram, a telecom services analyst in N.Y. for Wheat First securities said,
"You can do a deal without any financing as long as you have currency the
other company will take, and the best telecom currency stock today is
Worldcom stock." Worldcom executives plan to exchange slightly more than one
share of Worldcom for every share of MCI. If their stock declines before the
deal is done, they would increase the number of shares to be traded for each
share of MCI, i.e. Worldcom wants to give MCI shareholders 45% of the new
company in exchange for their 100% ownership in MCI.

Title:  Upstart Offering $30 Billion To Buy MCI, Using Stock
Source: New York Times, A1,D4
Author: Mark Landler
Issue:  Telecommunications
Description: Worldcom Inc. put in an offer yesterday to buy MCI for $9
billion more than the one put forth by British Telecommunications.
Analysts believe that Worldcom's proposal could possibly pull MCI away from
a merger with British Telecommunications.

Title:  A Long-Distance Visionary
Source: New York Times, D1,D4
Author: Steve Lhor
Issue:  Telecommunications
Description: Bernard J. Ebbers, the chief executive of Worldcom Inc., has
helped pull together approximately 50 successful acquisitions to make
Worldcom the nation's fourth largest long-distance carrier.  They are being
called by analyst "the communications company of the future" based on their
push to digitize telecommunications.  A large part of Worldcom's recent
purchases has been based around their desire to build up a successful
digital network.  "Worldcom's long-term strategy is to be an 'integrated
supercarrier,' a one-stop supplier of all manner of telecommunications

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