EU probes BT-MCI merger

BRUSSELS – The European Commission said Thursday it was opening a routine probe into the planned $20 billion merger of British Telecom and MCI Communications Corp.

The commission, the European Union’s executive body, said in a statement published in its official journal that the deal appeared to fall under the EU’s rule banning mergers that create or strengthen dominant positions.

The regulation applies to companies with European revenue of at least 250 million Ecus ($312.5 million). It gives the commission one month to decide whether to clear the deal or open an in-depth investigation – a faster timetable than under other EU competition rules.

The two companies announced in November that they were pooling their operations in an entity called Concert Plc.

However, the merger faces its most important antitrust test in the United States, where legislation forbids a foreign company from taking more than a 20% stake in a U.S. firm unless its home market is effectively open to competition.

Both the EU and the United States approved an earlier joint venture between British Telecom and MCI, also known as Concert, which provides telecommunications services to multinational companies.

More Biz

  • Madison Square Garden, New York, AmericaNew

    Andrew Lustgarten Promoted to President of Madison Square Garden Co.

    BRUSSELS – The European Commission said Thursday it was opening a routine probe into the planned $20 billion merger of British Telecom and MCI Communications Corp. The commission, the European Union’s executive body, said in a statement published in its official journal that the deal appeared to fall under the EU’s rule banning mergers that […]

  • Bowery Ballroom

    Live Nation Forms New Venture With New York's Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge

    BRUSSELS – The European Commission said Thursday it was opening a routine probe into the planned $20 billion merger of British Telecom and MCI Communications Corp. The commission, the European Union’s executive body, said in a statement published in its official journal that the deal appeared to fall under the EU’s rule banning mergers that […]

  • Warclow Bridge of Spies

    Amblin Partners Inks Exclusive Music-Publishing Deal With BMG

    BRUSSELS – The European Commission said Thursday it was opening a routine probe into the planned $20 billion merger of British Telecom and MCI Communications Corp. The commission, the European Union’s executive body, said in a statement published in its official journal that the deal appeared to fall under the EU’s rule banning mergers that […]

  • netflix-the-little-prince

    Mediawan Closes In on Acquisition of Dimitri Rassam's ON Kids & Family

    BRUSSELS – The European Commission said Thursday it was opening a routine probe into the planned $20 billion merger of British Telecom and MCI Communications Corp. The commission, the European Union’s executive body, said in a statement published in its official journal that the deal appeared to fall under the EU’s rule banning mergers that […]

  • Mark Hamill and Ted Cruz Get

    Mark Hamill and Ted Cruz Get in Net Neutrality-Related Twitter Fight

    BRUSSELS – The European Commission said Thursday it was opening a routine probe into the planned $20 billion merger of British Telecom and MCI Communications Corp. The commission, the European Union’s executive body, said in a statement published in its official journal that the deal appeared to fall under the EU’s rule banning mergers that […]

  • Sumner Redstone

    Sumner Redstone's Ex-Girlfriend Fights With Nurse For Access to Secret Tapes

    BRUSSELS – The European Commission said Thursday it was opening a routine probe into the planned $20 billion merger of British Telecom and MCI Communications Corp. The commission, the European Union’s executive body, said in a statement published in its official journal that the deal appeared to fall under the EU’s rule banning mergers that […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Sets Up Scramble for

    Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

    BRUSSELS – The European Commission said Thursday it was opening a routine probe into the planned $20 billion merger of British Telecom and MCI Communications Corp. The commission, the European Union’s executive body, said in a statement published in its official journal that the deal appeared to fall under the EU’s rule banning mergers that […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content