Judge Bars Qwest from Vonage Case

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A federal judge last week barred Qwest Communications International Inc. from entering the case involving the Minnesota government's effort to require Internet-phone provider Vonage Holdings Corp. to comply with state laws for traditional dialtone providers.

Judge Michael J. Davis ruled that Qwest -- the incumbent phone carrier in the state -- filed a motion to intervene that was procedurally and substantively defective, and he denied it.

Qwest wanted to enter the case to vindicate, among other things, its view that Vonage might have to compensate Qwest for voice-over-Internet-protocol calls that use the Baby Bell's switching facilities.

Last October, Davis issued a permanent injunction barring Minnesota from regulating Vonage like a traditional phone carrier. In his Jan. 14 ruling, Davis also dismissed Minnesota's request for a new trial.