The following is a chronology of key events in the history of WorldCom Inc.
1983: Businessmen Murray Waldron and William Rector sketch out a plan to create a discount long distance provider called LDDS (Long-Distance Discount Service).
1985: Early investor Bernard Ebbers becomes chief executive officer of LDDS.
1989: LDDS becomes public through the acquisition of Advantage Companies Inc.
1992: LDDS merges in an all-stock deal with discount long distance service provider Advanced Telecommunications Corp.
1993: LDDS acquires long distance providers Resurgens Communications Group Inc and Metromedia Communications Corp. in a three-way stock and cash transaction that creates the fourth-largest long-distance network in the United States.
1994: LDDS acquires domestic and international communications network IDB Communications Group Inc. in an all-stock deal.
1995: LDDS acquires voice and data transmission company Williams Telecommunications Group Inc. for $2.5 billion and changes its name to WorldCom Inc.
1996: WorldCom merges with MFS Communications Company Inc. and UUNet Technologies Inc.
1998: WorldCom completes three mergers: with MCI Communications Corp. ($40 billion)the largest in history at that timeBrooks Fiber Properties Inc. ($1.2 billion) and CompuServe Corp ($1.3 billion).
1999: WorldCom and Sprint Corp. agree to merge.
2000: U.S. and European regulators block proposed merger with Sprint; WorldCom and Sprint terminate agreement.
2001: WorldCom merges with Intermedia Communications Inc., a provider of data and Internet services to businesses.
* March 11: WorldCom receives a request for information from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to accounting procedures and loans to officers.
* April 3: WorldCom says it is cutting 3,700 jobs in the U.S. or 6 percent of WorldCom group's staff, 4 percent of WorldCom's overall work force.
* April 22: Standard & Poor's cuts WorldCom's long-term and short-term corporate credit ratings.
* April 23: Moody's Investors Service cuts WorldCom's long-term ratings. Fitch cuts the company's ratings, saying it expects WorldCom's revenue to deteriorate during 2002, with prospects for recovery in 2003 uncertain.