MCI to Qwest: Take a Hike

In real world when you go for a job interview, and you (falsely believe) that you have impressed the interviewer, you try and do the hard sell with your Harvard MBA, your 4.0 average and if all fails, your stunning good looks. Somehow that always results in a canned response: don’t call us, we will call you. That pretty much sums up the current state of affairs between Qwest and MCI. Today, MCI rejected the big $9 billion offer from Qwest, instead choosing to say $7.5 billion of Verizon’s money. Verizon yesterday had told MCI to either take its $7.5 billion offer or leave it for good. Things are getting down right dirty now. According to a Wall Street Journal report, MCI board wanted Qwest to give them $30 a share or simply go away.

Qwest countered by saying that it has “rejected an MCI request to boost the value of executive retention packages and to relieve MCI of its obligations to comply with a section of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that deals with internal accounting controls.” I am not sure whose interests is MCI management or the board actually watching out for. A large majority of MCI shares want the company to go to Qwest, because that means extra money in their pockets. How can then a board decide against the wishes of the shareholders? Maybe I am not getting it. Clearly Qwest people are mad. And will perhaps now resort to a proxy fight. It is going to get nasty – which is good, because we will all have a chance to read about the foibles of the rich and mighty. And marvel at why all the madness over a company that has more wrinkles than 125 year old Siamese twins.