The government is edging closer to privatizing the phone monopoly, Bezeq. Finance Ministry officials say they are studying a proposal by Southwestern Bell Corp. for a one-third stake with voting control. While Southwestern denies it has made an offer, it already has an interest in Aurec Zahav, publisher of Israel's white and yellow pages. Israel wants to sell a 14% share of Bezeq to an international phone company. But these companies may not agree without more control.

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