MCI shareholders OK Verizon takeover

Shareholders of MCI Inc. yesterday approved the $8.44 billion takeover by Verizon Communications Inc., ending attempts by hedge funds to quash the deal.

Some 88 percent of the votes cast supported the purchase.

The vote was one of the biggest hurdles Verizon faces in its takeover bid. It also brings to an official end the often bitter bidding war for MCI — the former WorldCom — between Verizon and Qwest Communications International. Qwest withdrew its $9.9 billion offer earlier this year, charging that the bidding process was skewed in Verizon’s favor.

The takeover’s next big hurdle will be at the Federal Communications Commission, which is scheduled to meet Oct. 12 to vote on the deal.

Verizon has said it plans to cut about 7,000 jobs as part of the deal and generate savings and other benefits worth about $7 billion.

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