The bidding war for MCI is over.
The long-distance carrier balked at an offer from Denver-based Qwest today -- and says it is going with an offer from Verizon Communications.
Verizon raised its bid to at least 26 dollars a share -- or eight-and-a-half billion dollars. Qwest had offered 30 dollars a share, or nine-point-85 billion dollars -- but some questioned whether the company had the same prospects as Verizon.
Qwest officials said it is -- quote -- "no longer in the best interests of shareowners, customers and employees to continue in a process that seems to be permanently skewed against Qwest."