MONROE, La. and DENVER, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) issued an order yesterday approving the pending merger between CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q).
As part of the approval process, the companies committed to investing a minimum of $80 million in broadband infrastructure in Washington over five years. When the merger is completed, the combined company will serve nearly 1.5 million access lines in the state.
"CenturyLink and Qwest already are strong service providers in Washington, and the increased scale and scope made possible by this merger will enhance the combined company's ability to provide a full range of communications solutions," said John F. Jones, vice president of state government affairs at CenturyLink."We are pleased that the Washington regulatory process has concluded, and we look forward to the many benefits this merger will provide for our Washington customers," said Kirk Nelson, Qwest Washington president. The companies are planning to close the merger and combine operations on April 1, 2011, subject to receipt of the remaining necessary regulatory approvals. The combined company will use the name CenturyLink and its stock will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under CenturyLink's current symbol, CTL. Qwest shares outstanding at the end of the business day immediately prior to the close date will automatically be converted to CenturyLink shares on the close date at an exchange rate of .1664 share of CenturyLink for each share of Qwest. MERGER UPDATE
- Including Washington, 20 states and the District of Columbia have approved the proposed merger.
- The companies also must receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
- CenturyLink and Qwest already have reached 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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