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Judge Looks into Modifying Terms of Phone Mergers

A federal district judge in Washington is considering the imposition of major modifications to the two largest telephone mergers in history: SBC Communication's acquisition of AT&T and Verizon's purchase of MCI.

In a surprising order issued Friday afternoon, Judge Emmet Sullivan raised a series of questions about the Bush administration's review of the two deals that he said should be answered by the Justice Department and the phone companies at a hearing next week.

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