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Report: Qwest Plans to Retract $1B

September 22, 2002

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DENVER (AP) _ Qwest Communications expects to announce this week that it plans to retract about $1 billion in revenue booked from swaps of capacity on its fiber-optic network, a source said Saturday.

The announcement, initially reported in Saturday editions of the Rocky Mountain News, would likely come before the House Energy and Commerce Committee begins hearings on the deals Tuesday, a source familiar with the company’s discussion told The Associated Press.

Qwest’s audit committee went over the plan this week, the News reported.

Qwest spokesman Tyler Gronbach on Saturday said the committee and full board of directors met this week but would not say what they discussed.

``We’re continuing our analysis of accounting issues and hope to finish that soon,″ Gronbach said. He declined to comment further.

Regulatory filings show Qwest recognized $953 million in revenue from so-called swaps in 2000 and 2001 in which it nearly simultaneously bought and sold network capacity with another telecommunications company.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether the deals helped Qwest artificially boost revenues. Qwest also is the subject of a Department of Justice investigation.

Two Qwest executives were scheduled to testify in congressional hearings Tuesday, and former chief executive officer Joe Nacchio is expected to testify in October.

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