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WORLD WATCH

International Business

February 01, 1996

Sprint Joint Venture Begins: Sprint Corp., France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom formally launched the venture code-named "Phoenix" to compete for business in the rapidly deregulating global telecommunications market. After two years of negotiations and regulatory hurdles, the European telephone companies will acquire a 20% stake in Sprint's long-distance and local operations for $3.6 billion to $3.7 billion, or about $48.70 a share. The sale had been expected to bring $4.2 billion, but the price is being reduced because Sprint is spinning off its cellular phone subsidiary, a company spokesman said. Phoenix will allow Sprint to serve the French and German markets and will give the European partners a piece of the U.S. market.

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