COLO. AP­PROVES LEVEL 3’S PUR­CHASE BY CEN­TU­RYLINK

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - — Ta­mara Chuang, The Den­ver Post

Cen­tu­ryLink said Mon­day it is mov­ing ahead with buy­ing Broom­field’s Level 3 Com­mu­ni­ca­tions af­ter re­ceiv­ing reg­u­la­tory ap­proval from Colorado.

The two com­pa­nies, which pro­vide in­ter­net to much of the U.S. and be­yond, are ex­pected to be­come one by Sept. 30, fol­low­ing nearly a year of gain­ing reg­u­la­tory ap­provals from states where they op­er­ate. So far, more than 20 states have ap­proved the deal.

For Colorado, ap­proval by the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion came in June. But not be­fore PUC staff ex­pressed concern on how the merger would im­pact “com­pe­ti­tion for telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices.” While Cen­tu­ryLink pro­vides tele­phone and in­ter­net ser­vices to con­sumers and busi­nesses, Level 3 owns and man­ages much of the in­ter­net back­bone that is leased to and con­nects dif­fer­ent in­ter­net ser­vices and third par­ties to one an­other.

Tim Kun­kle­man, Cen­tu­ryLink’s di­rec­tor of pub­lic pol­icy, told the com­mis­sion that the merger is to help the com­bined com­pany bet­ter com­pete for en­ter­prise and whole­sale cus­tomers. He said there will be no im­pact on re­tail cus­tomers, pri­mar­ily the con­sumers who subscribe to Cen­tu­ryLink’s home tele­phone and in­ter­net ser­vices.

Colorado is among more than 20 states that have ap­proved or cleared the merger.

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