European competition commissioner Karel Van Miert said he believes Worldcom and MCI are prepared to offer "proper remedies" to meet concerns about their planned merger.
Last week's hearing with the two companies and other industry players confirmed the Commission's concerns about the merger, as set out earlier in the EC statement of objections, Van Miert said. "We feel that the hearing confirmed our positions and concerns. The question is whether the parties, Worldcom and MCI offer proper remedies. I believe they are prepared to do so," he said.
"The hearing enhanced the position of the Commission and consolidated its view. The only way out is to offer remedies for that," he said.
Van Miert gave no details on possible remedies and another EC source said discussions have not started yet with the two companies.
One industry source present at the hearing said last week that he believed the EC sees the two companies' combined market share in the Internet backbone market as "40-60 per cent, probably 50-60 per cent".
This share is based on a series of analyses, including forward looking estimates of Internet developments, and is contested by Worldcom-MCI, which looks to 1997 share of revenue of 20 per cent.
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