Brief: Clinton Gives Nod to NTT, Verio Merger

U.S. President Bill Clinton said this week he will not block NTT Communications Corp.'s planned acquisition of U.S. Internet backbone and Web hosting company Verio Inc.

Clinton sent a report to congressional leaders saying the deal would not threaten national security. The report comes one week after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) recommended that he approve the acquisition.

There are no other outstanding issues between the companies and the U.S. government, a Verio official said last week. NTT Communications last week extended its tender offer until Aug. 30.

The acquisition was valued at US$5.5 billion when it was first announced in May. It has been delayed several times by the U.S. government's probe into possible national security implications, the kind of scrutiny usually reserved for acquisitions of defense contractors. Verio, which operates a major part of the U.S. Internet backbone, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications, which is a wholly owned unit of Japan's dominant telecom carrier, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT).

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