March 12, 1998 in Nation/World

Investors Endorse Mega-Deal Worldcom, Mci Shareholders Vote To Proceed With Record Merger

Associated Press

Stockholders of WorldCom Inc. and MCI Communications Corp. on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the companies’ plans for the largest-ever corporate marriage.

The Justice Department is still reviewing the $37 billion telecommunications merger amid antitrust concerns. A combined MCI-WorldCom would control at least 50 percent of Internet traffic in the United States and 25 percent of the nation’s long-distance business, analysts say.

WorldCom and MCI have rejected allegations that the merger would lead to higher pricing in the Internet and long-distance businesses.

Stockholders meeting at WorldCom’s headquarters in Jackson, Miss., approved the merger despite opposition from organized labor and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, who are concerned about layoffs.

MCI stockholders, meeting in South Sioux City, Neb., also approved the union.

Also Wednesday, WorldCom and MCI named 11 people to serve as outside members of the planned 17-member board of MCI WorldCom. WorldCom named eight directors and MCI, based in Washington, D.C., named three directors.

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