America's biggest telecom group, Verizon Communications, is about to become even bigger following its $6.7 billion (€5.1bn, £3.5bn) agreed bid for long distance phone carrier MCI - formerly known as WorldCom.

The deal, which will probably go final next year, will strengthen Verizon's competitive hand against its largest rival SBC Communications following its recent union with AT&T.

Verizon spent $850 million on advertising last year and in 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, via McCann Erickson and mcgarrybowen, among others.

MCI spent $65m on advertising in 2004, mainly through Euro RSCG and Media Planning Group.

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff