Judge: European Commission wrong to block WorldCom-Sprint merger


1 Dec 2004

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Brussels – The European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg has ruled that European regulators should not have blocked the merger between US long-distance telephone companies WorldCom and Sprint four years ago. In a ruling issued on Tuesday, the court said the European Commission did not have the authority to rule against the proposed US$120bn […]

Brussels – The European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg has ruled that European regulators should not have blocked the merger between US long-distance telephone companies WorldCom and Sprint four years ago. In a ruling issued on Tuesday, the court said the European Commission did not have the authority to rule against the proposed US$120bn merger because the companies had already dropped their merger plans. “Without ruling on the merits of the case, the Court of First Instance holds that the commission no longer had the power to adopt the decision after the proposed merger . . . had been abandoned,” the court said in a statement. Industry experts say the ruling will be seen as a setback for the European Commission and EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti, and that it could increase transatlantic regulatory uncertainty.www.curia.eu.int/en/actu/communiques/index.htm.