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Business

Worldcom Customers in Germany So Far Undeterred by U.S. Scandal

The accounting scandal emerging at Worldcom Inc. in the United States has not made any impact on the company’s operations in Germany, a spokeswoman for the German unit said Thursday.

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WorldCom's focus in Europe is on corporate clients

The spokeswoman said that Worldcom, which is represented in 65 countries, had not lost any customers in Germany, where it has been operating since 1995. Last year, the unit, based in Frankfurt, generated revenue of 500 million euros.

Last year, the unit, based in Frankfurt, generated revenue of 500 million euro. The spokeswoman said that Worldcom Germany was on track to meet this year’s targets.

However, almost all telecoms companies have had to sharply revise down their guidance for 2002. This arose mostly from the fact that customers turned out to be far less interested in new data services than telecoms-service providers had expected during the Internet boom phase.

Unlike in the United States, where Worldcom is the second-largest carrier for private customers after AT&T, the company’s focus in Europe is on corporate clients. With a workforce totaling 8,300 it serves around 430,000 major and mid-sized companies across Europe. In Germany, the company employs 1,200 people.

The spokeswoman said that of the 17,000 job cuts announced by Worldcom, only "a low three-digit hundred figure" would be implemented in Europe. She dismissed persistent speculation that the company will pull out of Europe in light of its problems in the U.S.

In Germany, Worldcom operates three city networks in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Hamburg, a 3,100-km long fiber glass network and the data network of the acquired Internet specialist UUNet.