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BUSINESS
July 24, 2002 | MICHAEL A. HILTZIK and JAMES F. PELTZ, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
As the wreckage of once-highflying telecommunications companies such as WorldCom Inc. and Global Crossing Ltd. piles up, attention is turning to whether the root of the disaster lies in the sweeping deregulation set in motion in the mid-1990s that was expected to usher in a golden age of competition. Prices would fall, service would improve and everyone would make more money.
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BUSINESS
July 22, 2002 | JON HEALEY and ELIZABETH DOUGLASS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
For years, the biggest challenge WorldCom Inc. and MCI faced was persuading consumers to switch long-distance companies. Now, the toughest job may be persuading them to stay. The bankruptcy filing on Sunday by WorldCom and its MCI subsidiary is sure to spook some customers, who number as many as 20 million. But consumer advocates say the filing alone doesn't justify finding a new long-distance company.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2002 | ELIZABETH DOUGLASS and KAREN KAPLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
WorldCom Inc.'s mammoth bankruptcy filing Sunday could prolong the telecommunications industry's long and painful implosion by dragging teetering companies over the brink with it. More than three dozen telecom firms have already landed in Bankruptcy Court since a crippling combination of overcapacity and sinking demand left the industry struggling to find a way to pay its crushing debts.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2002 | JAMES S. GRANELLI and ELIZABETH DOUGLASS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
WorldCom Inc., the nation's second-largest long-distance company, crumpled into bankruptcy late Sunday, brought down by massive debt, a shortage of cash and an accounting scandal that rocked investor confidence. The Clinton, Miss.-based telecommunications giant listed $104 billion in assets in its filing for reorganization under federal bankruptcy laws, making it the largest such case in history. It dwarfs December's Chapter 11 filing by Houston energy trader Enron Corp.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 2002 | DAVID GRITTEN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A long, rich era of British filmmaking abruptly came to a close Tuesday when Channel 4 television closed down its movie production arm, FilmFour. As part of a restructuring following heavy financial losses, FilmFour will cease to operate as a distributor and an international sales company, while its production function will be re-integrated into Channel 4 at a sharply reduced level. Most of its 59 employees are expected to be let go.
BUSINESS
July 6, 2002 | Dow Jones/Associated Press
In a sign that the Internet sector may be nearing the end of its brutal shakeout, the number of shutdowns and bankruptcies by dot-com companies in the first half of this year fell 73% from the same period last year, a report from Webmergers.com shows. At least 93 Internet companies closed their doors or filed for bankruptcy protection in the first six months of 2002, down from 345 during the same period last year, according to the San Francisco research firm.
BUSINESS
June 27, 2002 | DEBORA VRANA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Stocks plunged Wednesday, then recovered most of their losses, in a volatile session triggered by WorldCom Inc.'s disclosure of an allegedly massive accounting fraud. Coupled with the day's heavy trading volume--the New York Stock Exchange had its busiest session this year--the dramatic turnaround raised hopes that the market may have reached at least a near-term bottom after five straight weekly declines, analysts said.
BUSINESS
June 27, 2002 | WALTER HAMILTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
WorldCom Inc.'s disclosure of a potentially titanic accounting fraud ratchets up the pressure on securities regulators and criminal prosecutors to prove they are taking aggressive steps to punish executives who break the law. In a demonstration of that urgency, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil-fraud lawsuit against WorldCom in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday evening.
BUSINESS
June 27, 2002 | From Bloomberg News
New York Atty. Gen. Eliot Spitzer said Wednesday that his office will investigate analyst commentary on WorldCom Inc., which had a "buy" rating from star telecom analyst Jack Grubman at Citigroup Inc.'s Salomon Smith Barney from 1997 through this April. Just Monday, with the stock down more than 90% from December, Grubman cut his rating to "under-perform" from "neutral." "It did catch many people's eye that he finally issued a downgrade," Spitzer said.
BUSINESS
June 27, 2002 | KAREN KAPLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Bernard J. Ebbers was an unlikely pioneer in the cutting-edge world of telecommunications. Though he transformed WorldCom Inc. from an idea on a coffee-shop napkin into the second-largest long-distance company in the country, Ebbers himself is known to shun cell phones, pagers and even e-mail.
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