Arizona authorities clear CenturyLink, Qwest deal

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 7:10am
The Associated Press

MONROE, La. (AP) – Two state regulatory bodies in Arizona have approved the $10 billion acquisition of Qwest Communications by CenturyLink, the companies said Monday.

The Residential Utility Consumer Office and the staff of the Arizona Corporate Commission have found that the deal will not harm consumers or the public interest. The decision to approve the deal is still subject to review by the ACC's commission members, the companies said.

To help win approval, the companies said they have agreed to provide the state with regular reports on their integration and to invest at least $70 million in broadband infrastructure in Arizona over the next five years.

With the deal in place, the companies said they now have more than half of the state regulatory approvals needed to complete the acquisition.

CenturyLink, the country's fifth-largest local phone company, announced in April that it had agreed to buy Qwest, the third-largest local phone company. The combined company will have about 18 million phone lines serving customers in 37 states, with its headquarters in Monroe, La.

Qwest shares fell 9 cents to $6.86, while CenturyLink shares lost 63 cents to $42.41 in afternoon trading.

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