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Groups Seek To Block Bell Melds

Consumers groups Thursday asked the Justice Department to deny the proposed mergers of telecoms SBC/AT&T and Verizon/MCI, arguing that they are "irreparably anticompetitive."

Consumers Union, consumer Federation of America and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, argue that the companies would dominate the phone and Internet access businesses.

They also suggested some conditions to try and "blunt" the impact of the mergers if Justice approves them, but said that "These deals present so many complex problems that enforcement of any merger conditions seems impossible.”