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Qwest adds $500M to MCI offer

Qwest boosted its bid for MCI by adding another $500 million in cash to its bid.

Just when you thought the Qwest-Verizon-MCI drama was over, it's not.

On Thursday Qwest upped its bid once again for MCI, adding another $500 million to its offer. Qwest's new offer of almost $9 billion trumps its previous bid of $8.45 billion and Verizon's sweetened offer of $7.6 billion. MCI announced on Tuesday that it had accepted Verizon's revised offer.

Qwest has already set a deadline of April 5th for MCI's board to consider its offer. After the deadline, Qwest has said it will withdraw its offer.

But there are indications that Qwest may not . Yesterday, the company said it had hired a proxy consultancy, which could mean that it plans to take its offer directly to shareholders, bypassing the board of directors altogether.