Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom Battle for Global One

Deutsche Telekom AG and France Télécom SA are entering the end-stretch in their negotiations to decide which of them will take over Global One, the global alliance they share with Sprint Corp.

After months of ongoing discussions over buying Global One, the two carriers each have a firm price in mind, which they plan to shortly exchange in the presence of a third party, such as a notary, Deutsche Telekom spokesman Stephan Broszio said today.

"Whoever has the higher price will win," he said. The two sides are hoping to complete this process by the end of the month, but there is no specific deadline, Broszio said.

France Télécom could not be immediately reached for comment.

Sprint already said in October when it announced its merger with MCIWorldCom Inc. that it would no longer remain involved in Global One. [See "Merger Update: Sprint Bids Goodbye to Global One," Oct. 5.] At the time, Sprint Chairman William Esrey also said it is likely that one of the remaining partners would take over the alliance. Loosely-knit global alliances among telecommunications companies have gone out of favor recently as the partners have found they are better off going their own way, or seeking one strong partner.

Global One delivers international voice and data services to about 200 corporate customers. Its share of the international traffic market was 14.3 percent last year, second only to an international telecom venture between British Telecommunications PLC and AT&T Corp, according to statistics from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). [See "TELECOM 99: Global One: 'We Are Here to Stay'," Oct. 10,1999.]Deutsche Telekom, in Bonn, can be reached at +49-228-181-4949, or at http://www.telekom.de. France Telecom can be reached in Paris at +33-1-4444-22 22, or at http://www.francetelecom.fr/. Global One, in Reston, Virginia and Brussels, can be reached on the Web at http://www.global-one.net/

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