News In Brief

The widely expected cancellation of the planned $115 billion merger between WorldCom and Sprint Corp. likely will be announced by early next week, The New York Times reported. Citing "executives close to both companies," the newspaper said the abandonment would have been announced by now if not for the interruption of the Independence Day holiday. Provisions of the deal, which has encountered almost insurmountable opposition from regulators in the US and Europe, prevent either company from entering into new merger discussions with other would-be partners until it is formally called off.

The FBI has raised national-security concerns about a Japanese company's attempt to acquire Verio Inc., a US Internet service provider, The Wall Street Journal reported. A spokesman for Tokyo-based Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. told the newspaper that a pending US government review of the $5.5 billion deal is a response to concerns that law-enforcement agencies maintain access to Verio's Internet structure. The agencies want such access to obtain wiretaps and serve subpoenas for information needed in investigations. Verio, based Englewood, Colo., links to the Web more than 20 percent of the companies on Standard & Poor's 500-stock index.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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