MONROE, La. and DENVER, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) today issued an order approving the pending merger between CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q).
The ACC conducted a substantive review of the transaction, including agreements on wholesale matters the companies reached with several competitive carriers in Arizona and other states.
As part of the approval process, the companies committed to investing a minimum of $70 million in broadband infrastructure in Arizona over five years."Greater broadband availability, a wider variety of communications solutions and an ongoing commitment to customer service are but three benefits that will be produced by the commission's approval of this merger," said Terry Beeler, president of CenturyLink's Western Region. "We appreciate the diligence of the commission and its staff during their review and approval of the merger," said Qwest Arizona president Jim Campbell. "Employees at Qwest and CenturyLink are excited about the benefits Arizona customers will see when our two great companies are brought together." When the merger is completed, the combined company will serve about 1.45 million access lines in the state. The companies are planning to close the transaction and launch the combined company on April 1, 2011. MERGER UPDATE
- Including Arizona, 18 states and the District of Columbia have approved the proposed merger.
- The companies also must receive approval from three additional states and the Federal Communications Commission.
- CenturyLink and Qwest already have reached agreements with commission staffs in Oregon and Washington. The companies also have agreements with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Integra Telecom, Cox Communications and other competitive local exchange carriers, and the U.S. Department of Defense in Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Washington.
- In October, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) agreed that the merger is in the public interest.
- Shareholders from both companies approved the merger in August.
- The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission cleared the transaction in July after determining there were no antitrust concerns.
- As of Dec. 31, 2010, CenturyLink served approximately 2.4 million broadband customers, 6.5 million access lines and almost 628,000 satellite video subscribers. On the same date, Qwest served 2.9 million broadband customers, 8.9 million access lines, more than 1 million video subscribers and more than 1 million wireless customers. The combination will create a robust 180,000-route-mile national fiber network, which will increase the combined company's scale and enable the delivery of a diverse mix of service and product offerings.
- Merger website: centurylinkqwestmerger.com.
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