The European Union Court of First Instance in Luxembourg is set to rule this week on a $120 billion deal that MCI-WorldCom made in 2000 in an attempt to take over rival Sprint. The move was blocked by both the US Justice Department and the European Commission on antitrust grounds. Although the takeover attempt was soon abandoned, WorldCom vowed to appeal the EU ruling in order to free itself from an unfavorable precedent that could dog its European operations for years.
Since emerging from bankruptcy as MCI, the company has pursued the appeal on technical grounds. First, they argue that the deal was too small to be considered by the European Commission; second, they claim that WorldCom's withdrawal from the takeover bid one day before the Commission's ruling deprived the Commission of the authority to rule. Reuters has more.