WorldCom president and CEO Bernie Ebbers said he was disappointed that a proposed $129 billion merger with Sprint was blocked by federal and European regulators, but said the company is looking to the future. He said WorldCom would continue to expand its global network by sharpening its focus on “higher-margin, value-added services in the commercial data, Internet and international markets.” The collapse of the Sprint deal left WorldCom without a wireless segment of its own. That segment of telecommunications is the fastest growing in the United States, said David Burks, an analyst with J.J.B. Hilliard W.L. Lyons in Louisville, Ky.
Burks said the spin-off possibility raised by Ebbers wasn’t surprising given the company’s interest in the Internet.
The company has been shifting away from slower-growing businesses such as the consumer long-distance and wholesale markets due to increased competition and pricing pressure.
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The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.