Qwest Receives Low Long-Distance Bids

Qwest has received preliminary bids for its long-distance business that are below the $2 billion to $3 billion it sought, a report says.
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Qwest Communications

(Q)

has received preliminary bids for its long-distance business that are below the $2 billion to $3 billion it sought, the

Wall Street Journal

reports.

The lower-than-expected bids could force the telecommunications company to call off the auction or accept a significant discount, the newspaper reports.

Some parties have valued Qwest's network, which carries long-distance phone and data traffic and provides advanced services for corporate and government customers, at under $1 billion, the

Journal

reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

The newspaper reports the most likely buyer for the network is

Level 3 Communications

(LVLT)

, which is formulating a potential bid, the people said.

XO Communications

, which is controlled by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, and

TW Telecom

(TWTC)

also have expressed interest, the people said.

A spokesman for Qwest declined to comment for the

Journal

.

Bids for Qwest's network were due Monday, but the company extended the process, the

Journal

notes.