Powell mulls Bell/WorldCom deal

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FCC Chairman Michael Powell said his agency would consider allowing a regional Bell telephone monopoly to acquire WorldCom, the Wall St.
reported Monday.

If the FCC allowed such a deal it would reverse a longstanding agency policy
against allowing the Bell monopolies to get into the long distance business
without proof they have opened their markets to local phone competitors.

The agency's hardline stance has raised the ire of some top lawmakers and the
U.S. Telecom Association. Powell said the current state of 'utter crisis' in the
communications industry warrants consideration a change in FCC