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News Corp. said it will issue to a subsidiary of WorldCom approximately 121.2 million preferred limited voting ordinary shares worth $680 million as well as paying WorldCom $250 million in cash.

The share issuance and cash payment helps satisfy News Corp.'s obligation to issue redeemable preferred stock to WorldCom - formerly MCI Communications - in connection with the unwinding of their former American Sky Broadcasting satellite TV joint venture, the company said. ASkyB's assets were sold in 1999 to EchoStar as part of an effort to settle litigation with the satellite TV company.

MCI and News Corp. partnered in 1996 for ASkyB, and bid more than $680 million for the full-CONUS satellite slot at 110 degrees. A year later, News Corp. took its ASkyB assets to EchoStar in an effort to partner with the satellite TV company. The relationship soured and EchoStar sued News Corp., eventually settling with the company and gaining the satellite assets.

From SkyReport (Used with permission)
 
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