Sidgmore Has His Say

FRAMINGHAM (07/03/2000) - Not surprisingly John Sidgmore, vice chairman and chief operating officer at WorldCom Inc., hasn't been in a very good mood over the past few weeks. But despite MCI WorldCom's legal and regulatory wrangling, Sidgmore kept his date last week as one of the keynote speakers at Broadband 2000 in San Jose. Afterwards he took a moment to speak with Network World Senior Editor Denise Pappalardo about MCI WorldCom's merger trouble.

NW: Has MCI WorldCom thrown in the towel on the Sprint deal or are you still negotiating?

Sidgmore: I wouldn't say we're still negotiating. But it's never over until it's really over, regardless of what the press is reporting.

NW: In the U.S. Department of Justice suit trying to block the merger it appears the department only looked at market share figures from AT&T, Sprint and MCI WorldCom and not new competitors such as Qwest and Global Crossing.

What are your thoughts on that?

Sidgmore: Well, if we agreed with their logic we probably wouldn't be in this position. But we obviously didn't agree with that. We think the market is changing tremendously, not just because of players like Qwest, but because the [regional Bell operating companies] are also coming into long-distance. And the [Justice Department] did not factor that in.

NW: Will MCI WorldCom be considering other wireless acquisitions if a deal with Sprint doesn't work out?

Sidgmore: I wouldn't want to say that we are considering another acquisition.

Obviously we thought that the best path to go forward was to buy Sprint. There are other options for us, not necessary other acquisitions, but deals and partners. I guarantee you we will be in wireless, one way or another.

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