McDonald's searches for tech ally

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McDonald's Corp. is looking to partner with a leading telecommunications company on a long-term, multimillion-dollar global marketing and technology alliance.

Likely contenders include AT&T Corp., MCI Communications Corp., IBM Corp., Tele-Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable, according to an executive familiar with McDonald's plans.

The fast-food chain recently sent out a request for proposals to sign up a prime contractor to create a state-of-the-art networking system between McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., and its 18,000 franchisees and company-owned restaurants worldwide.

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