BT, MCI discussing merger

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WASHINGTON - British Telecommunications PLC is in discussions with MCI Communicatons Corp. to acquire the number two U.S. long-distance provider, a deal estimated to be worth $20 billion. While U.K.-based BT already owns 20% of MCI, an acquisition would give MCI the financial backing it needs to compete with AT&T Corp. and the regional Bell operating companies as they begin to offer long-distance service early this year. The deal is expected to be finalized sometime this weekend. MCI shares jumped 3 5/8 to 28 3/4 on Friday in reaction to the news.

Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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