WorldCom and "Bad Blood"

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The latest battle between WorldCom and SBC Communications continues. It's over who has the right to provide local phone service to California's state prisons.

SBC's Pacific Bell told the bankruptcy court Thursday that WorldCom's MCI unit had illegally disconnected Pacific Bell pay phones in some California prisons and then hooked its own lines into the phones.

MCI has had a contract with the state of California for 10 years to provide phone service to California inmates. MCI provided the long distance service and it let Pacific Bell install and maintain the phones and provide local phone services.

Now MCI says it wants to provide both local and long distance service and put in its own phones and it doesn't need Pacific Bell. The issue will be hashed out in court in a hearing on Dec. 10 in New York.