MCI WorldCom


said it will pay

Cable & Wireless


$200 million to settle a dispute stemming from the sale of MCI's Internet business resulting from its merger with WorldCom in 1998.

C&W filed suit against MCI a year ago, saying it had not delivered as promised key personnel and customer information as part of the sale to C&W.

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The sum will be the final settlement in the dispute and Cable & Wireless has agreed to drop all litigation and regulatory complaints related to the transaction, according to a statement from MCI WorldCom, the Clinton, Miss.-based telecommunications company.

Neither issue was active in pre-market trading Wednesday.

"It is good to get this complex commercial disagreement behind us,'' John Sidgmore, MCI WorldCom vice chairman, said in a prepared statement. "This milestone clears the way for us to focus even more on our business at hand and on closing the MCI WorldCom/Sprint merger.''

MCI WorldCom and Sprint are expected to become one company in the second half of 2000, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

MCI shareholders will be able to vote April 28 on the merger.

U.S. and European regulators are expected to put under a microscope the Internet transmission and long-distance businesses of the two carriers.

The European Union a week ago opened an extended probe of the deal and expects to make its decision on the merger by early July.