A tweak here, a change of emphasis there does not necessarily a new offer make. But Qwest Communications is hoping to convince MCI it is worth considering.

The Denver-headquartered phone company has produced a reworked $8 billion (€6bn, £4.1bn) bid for the long distance carrier as it seeks to scupper a deal already made with telecoms giant Verizon.

Qwest, which was rejected as a potential suitor by MCI earlier this month, now promises shareholders a quicker cash payout and a guarantee against stock market fluctuations, but the meat and potatoes remain the same. It still offers $15.50 a share in stock and $9.10 a share in cash.

Verizon's offer is worth $6.75bn. In response to the Qwest move it says it "has a signed agreement with MCI and a proven track record of completing transactions that create value for shareholders, customers and employees".

MCI - formerly Worldcom before last year's fraud implosion - says it will weigh the latest bid and will "conduct a thorough review of the Qwest offer, as it has with all previous offers". If the Verizon deals falls through, MCI may be required to pay a $200 million breakup fee.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff