Initial plans by Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Telemedia Technologies (STT) to take control of bankrupt fibre-optic network operator Global Crossing have been rebuffed by a government panel in the United States, prompting the pair to restructure their takeover bid, according to press reports. The companies withdrew a regulatory application early last week following a meeting with officials from the Committee on Foreign Investments in the US, in which national security objections were raised, sources told the Wall Street Journal. At the meeting, officials told executives from the companies they were prepared to launch a formal investigation into the deal over concerns about Hutchison's ties to China, the sources said. The companies decided to withdraw the bid and restructure their plans instead of taking the risk that the US government would not allow them to go ahead. A new proposal had not yet been submitted. US officials were said to be concerned that the mainland government or related companies would be able to tap into state or corporate secrets transmitted over Global Crossing's worldwide 160,000km fibre-optic network. One revised proposal reportedly under consideration would create a separate domestic division for Global Crossing, staffed by US citizens, which would oversee the company's US operations. A plan that would make Hutchison only a passive investor in Global Crossing was also under discussion, the sources said. A proxy board of four approved US or allied citizens could sit on the 10-person Global Crossing board of directors, with a Hutchison director prevented from serving as chairman of the reorganised firm. According to The New York Times, Hutchison was considering the appointment of US politicians or businessmen to sit on the board on its behalf. It was not considering reducing the size of the stake it aimed to acquire. A Hutchison spokeswoman yesterday would not comment due to the controversial nature of the committee meeting. She added that Hutchison's business was in no way linked to the mainland government. On Tuesday, US telecommunications operator IDT Corp launched a rival bid for control of Global Crossing by offering US$5 million more than the US$250 million offered by Hutchison and STT for the 61.5 per cent stake. The company said it would be against US national interests to sell the American carrier of sensitive government and corporate data to a foreign entity. A federal judge dismissed the rival bid on Wednesday.