Ascend shareholders baulk at Lucent merger

Ascend Communications yesterday confirmed that shareholders in the company have filed lawsuits seeking to block Ascend's proposed merger with Lucent Technologies.

The $US20 billion merger was announced on Wednesday, and yesterday Ascend officials said shareholders have filed four lawsuits in Delaware Chancery Court challenging the proposed merger.

"The suits allege breach of fiduciary responsibility on the part of Ascend directors," said Eric Warren, a spokesman for Ascend.

Ascend denies the charges, which it said frequently accompany merger announcements, and will defend itself against them "vigorously", said Warren, who declined to comment further on the matter.

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