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Qwest in Talks on Possible Takeover by Telecom Firm

March 06, 2000|From Reuters

DENVER — Qwest Communications International Inc., the No. 4 U.S. long-distance phone company, confirmed Sunday that it was in talks with a major telecommunications company about the possible takeover of it and its existing merger partner, US West Inc.

Denver-based Qwest declined to name the suitor, but sources familiar with the situation said the talks were with German phone giant Deutsche Telekom.

Qwest said its merger partner, US West, the smallest of the Baby Bell local telephone companies, was aware of the talks with the new suitor. However, US West demanded Friday that Qwest disclose the status of talks with rumored bidders, saying it will hold Qwest responsible for damages to their $36-billion merger agreement.

Qwest said it had no intention of entering into a deal with the new company unless US West also reached an agreement with that company on acceptable terms.

"The merger agreement with US West is still in place, and Qwest is continuing to take the steps required under the agreement to close the US West merger," Qwest Chairman Joe Nacchio said.

US West and Deutsche Telekom could not immediately be reached for comment.

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