CenturyLink-Qwest Expects April 1 Completion Following FCC Blessing

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As of March 18, the merger had received approval from 20 of the 22 states it needs, plus the District of Columbia, and CenturyLink and Qwest had reached agreements with a number of competitive local exchange carriers (CLEC), including Integra Telecom and Cox Communications.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission cleared the deal last July, and shareholders from both companies approved it in August.

Several states approving the deal did so on condition that CenturyLink and Qwest make broadband infrastructure investments in those states; Washington State, for example, insisted on at least $80 million in investment over five years, while Utah agreed to at least $25 million over five years for its approval.

FCC approval was seen as the merger's final regulatory hurdle.

"We are pleased to receive the Commission's approval and appreciate their hard work during the review of our proposed transcation," said Glen F. Post III, CenturyLink president and CEO, in a statement. "The merger of CenturyLink and Qwest will bring greater broadband availability to customers and serves the public interest by allowing us to offer a wider variety of services than either company could offer alone."

The CenturyLink-Qwest deal was one of the largest transactions in an ongoing consolidation of the telecom service provider space. Earlier this week, AT&T confirmed it would acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion -- one of the biggest telecom deals in a decade.


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