Ohio regulators approve Frontier-Verizon deal

Fri, 02/12/2010 - 7:15am
The Associated Press

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) – An Ohio regulator has approved Frontier Communications Corp.'s purchase of the traditional telephone line business from Verizon Communications Inc., the company said Thursday.

Frontier said the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio unanimously approved its acquisition of Verizon's wireline operations in Ohio for homes and small businesses. Ohio follows regulators in Nevada, South Carolina and California to approve Frontier's acquisition of certain Verizon landlines.

Frontier is waiting for approvals from five other states and the Federal Communications Commission.

It already received approvals from officials in 41 towns in Washington state and Oregon to buy Verizon's fiber-optic FiOS lines, which are regulated like cable TV and therefore overseen individually by each town. Landline phones are regulated on the state level.

Frontier is buying Verizon's local phone lines in 14 states, mainly in rural areas and smaller towns. A spokesman said the transaction does not require approval from all states.

The $8.6 billion stock and debt deal, announced last May, is expected to close in the second quarter.

Shares of Frontier, a local phone company based in Stamford, Conn., rose 2 cents to $7.58 in morning trading.

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