The European Commission is to extend its investigations in to the proposed $20 billion BT/MCI merger by four months.
An EC spokesperson said: ?I do not think there will be any great rows but there are issues to be looked at.?
The effect of the merger on US to UK route competition, an issue raised by AT&T will be an area under discussion. AT&T last week sent a 31-page document to the US investigators the Federal Communications Commission warning that BT and MCI could discriminate in the charges it makes to other operators using BT?s local lines to deliver calls.
It is also looking at whether the merger would have any impact on the availability of cross-Atlantic cable capacity for new entrants as BT and MCI both control a significant amount of capacity. This could harm further growth of the Internet since there is already a shortage of capacity.
Other issues include whether the merged company could divert US-Europe traffic through the UK in a way not available to its European competitors.
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