NEW YORK—MCI-WorldCom and Bank One-Chase Manhattan merged in a blockbuster $112 billion deal Monday, forming the world's largest telecommunications/banking company and reducing the number of existing corporations to six.

MCI-WorldCom CEO Donald Cosgrove (left) and Bank One-Chase Manhattan CEO Walter Courson celebrate their companies' historic $112 billion merger.

"This is an exciting move for both companies," said Donald Cosgrove, CEO of MCI-WorldCom, whose subsidiaries include SBC-Ameritech, Bell Atlantic-NYNEX and McDonnell Douglas. "As a result of this historic merger, we should be in much better position to consolidate vast amounts of wealth and power in the coming years."

The other five remaining corporations are Daimler-Chrysler, Monsanto-American Home Products, Shearson-Lehman-Chemical-Citicorp-Travelers Group, Paramount-Viacom-ABC-Disney, and Lockheed-Northrop-Boeing-Pepsico.

According to Forbes managing editor Russell Belanger, at the current rate of mergers, there will be only one corporation in the world by 2000.

"The six remaining corporations have shown great interest in merging with each other," Belanger said. "Clearly, the stage is being set for the long-discussed creation of UniCorp, a $92 trillion corporation that produces every product on earth, from canned yams to basketballs to poison gas."

Belanger said mergers are desirable because they give corporations "synergy," enabling them to better sell their products. "Take Paramount-Viacom-ABC-Disney, for example," he said. "Disney makes the movie, Joel Siegel of Paramount-owned ABC-TV gives the movie a rave review, and Disney subsidiaries Blockbuster and McDonald's promote the video release of the movie in their respective stores with mail-in rebates and Happy Meal action figures. It's a win-win scenario."

Bill Clinton, chief executive of U.S. Government, a division of MCI-WorldCom, praised Monday's merger as "an excellent move."

A spokesperson for the newly formed Bank One-Chase Manhattan-MCI-WorldCom said the company plans to cut 92,000 jobs this month.