Shareholders approve Verizon buy of MCI

Verizon has won approval from MCI shareholders to go ahead with its planned acquisition of the company. The shareholders voted today at a meeting at MCI’s headquarters in Ashburn, Va.

Shareholder approval is one of several formal steps that publicly traded companies must go through to complete an acquisition. Verizon and MCI still await federal, state and international approvals. Both companies expect the deal to close late this year or in early 2006.

It is one of several high-profile consolidations going on in the telecommunications field, including SBC Communications' planned acquisition of AT&T, and Sprint's recently completed buy of Nextel.

"Today’s vote brings us an important step closer to completing the MCI transaction," said Verizon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Seidenberg in a prepared statement. "We look forward to creating a company that is better able to compete in today’s large-business and government marketplace, invest in critical infrastructure and offer the nation’s most advanced broadband platform with next-generation multimedia services."

"This vote of support by our shareholders represents a key milestone in the merger approval process," said Michael Capellas, MCI president and CEO. "The combined company will have the strength and assets necessary to be a competitive force in today's transforming communications marketplace."

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