MONROE, La. and DENVER, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today approved the pending merger between CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q).
The PUC conducted a comprehensive review of the transaction, including agreements reached with several competitive carriers in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and other states. The merger also has the support of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
As part of the approval process, the companies committed to investing a minimum of $50 million in broadband infrastructure in Minnesota over five years."We are looking forward to bringing a wider variety of communications solutions and greater broadband availability to Minnesota than either company could offer alone," said Duane Ring, CenturyLink northeast region president. "We are pleased with the PUC's decision to approve our merger with CenturyLink," said John Stanoch, Qwest Minnesota president. "Both Qwest and CenturyLink have long and proud traditions of providing communication services in Minnesota, which will be carried on by the employees of the combined company." 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 Minnesota, 19 states and the District of Columbia have approved the proposed merger.
- The companies also must receive approval from Oregon and Washington, 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 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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