Qwest settles SEC fraud inquiry

US telecoms giant Qwest Communications has agreed to pay $250m (136.7m) to settle charges stemming from an inquiry into an alleged securities fraud.

The Denver-based firm did not admit any liability in the case brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Qwest has also agreed to cooperate with the SEC in any further inquiry, litigation or other proceedings.

The investigation looked at claims that Qwest inflated revenue to meet Wall Street's revenue expectations in 2001.

Investigations into Qwest had cast a cloud over the fourth-largest local phone group in the US, which employs 40,000 people.

Four former managers are facing criminal charges and others face civil suits.

The probe in association with federal authorities in Denver also looked at purchases by Qwest employees of their suppliers' shares.

The $250m settlement will be paid in two instalments.

"We are pleased to conclude this matter, which will now allow us to focus even more of our effort to provide exceptional value and service to customers," said Qwest chairman Richard C. Notebaert.