C&W, MCI WorldCom settle dispute

Cable & Wireless PLC (C&W) and MCI WorldCom have settled a dispute resulting from C&W's purchase of MCI's Internet business and agreed on a final settlement of $US200 million to be paid by MCI to the UK-based telecommunications company, C&W announced today.

The settlement from MCI is in addition to $23 million granted to C&W by an independent arbitrator last December, the company said in a statement.

In a lawsuit filed against MCI last April in Delaware Federal Court, C&W sought $1.7 billion in damages. The $200 million cash settlement settles all litigation and regulatory complaints stemming from the lawsuit, MCI said in a separate statement also released today.

The suit accused MCI of not fully transferring MCI's internet customer base and targeting former MCI internet customers for marketing purposes after C&W bought MCI's internet business for $US1.75 billion. MCI Communications sold its internet assets in May in order to gain regulatory approval to merge with WorldCom.

C&W claimed in its lawsuit that along with damaging its reputation for high service MCI's actions had resulted in lost internet customers, revenue and marketing opportunities.

Throughout the dispute, MCI officially declined to speak to the charges, citing the company's policy of not commenting on pending litigation. The settlement would not have an impact on the company's earning, MCI spokeswoman Claire Hassett said today.

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