washingtonpost.com: Merger Bells About to Ring For MCI?: "'They really can't remain independent any longer,' said Michael H. Salsbury, who was general counsel of MCI (then known as WorldCom Inc.) until 2002 and is now an attorney at Chadbourne & Parke LLP. SBC needs AT&T for its large corporate customer base, and AT&T needs SBC in order to survive, he said. '[The SBC-AT&T merger] means ultimately MCI will get acquired. It's just a question of price.'
The name that surfaces most often as a potential suitor: Verizon Communications Inc.
Unofficially, MCI has been trying to sell itself for about a year, analysts and one executive at the company have said. It entered negotiations with SBC last year, but the deal failed after the companies couldn't agree on a price, according to a source familiar with those talks."