February 17, 2005 1:22 PM PST

Qwest move could keep MCI bid alive

Qwest Communications International may not be giving up its bid to acquire MCI, after all.

On Wednesday, the local phone company released details of its bid for MCI, which was rejected earlier this week when the long-distance carrier announced it had accepted a competing offer from Verizon Communications.

Analysts said Qwest's move was likely a last-ditch effort to rally support from investors.

"Qwest is hoping to put some pressure on the MCI board in the hope that they will reconsider their offer," said Qaisar Hasan, an analyst at Buckingham Research. "It's unlikely they will make a second bid, so this is their best hope to change the board's mind."

According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Qwest offered $8 billion for MCI. Verizon's offer of $6.7 billion, which was accepted by MCI's board of directors, included $1 billion less in cash than the Qwest bid.

Some MCI shareholders have already voiced their concern over the board of directors deciding to take the lower offer. Analysts believe that Qwest's going public with this information could help fuel the shareholders' argument and potentially set off a new round of bidding.

Verizon spokesman Peter Thonis said the company continues to stand by the deal. "We made an offer, and it was accepted," Thonis said. "That is the status. As far as we are concerned, we have a strategic fit that no one else can match."

MCI is also sticking to its guns. "After an exhaustive review process of all the alternatives on the table, we are very

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