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CenturyLink-Level 3 Deal Gets More State Approvals

Three more states, and a district, have joined nine others in approving the merger of CenturyLink and Level 3 Communications.

The latest to give it the thumbs up were Delaware, Maryland, Hawaii and Washington, D.C., joining Georgia, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia, Texas, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana and Nevada.

The district may be OK with the merger, but regulators in D.C. are still vetting the deal.

CenturyLink filed merger proposal with the FCC and Justice in December. Just two weeks ago the FCC asked for more information from the companies about where they compete in the delivery of business broadband services. Such requests for additional data are not unusual, particularly in this case since the FCC is trying to come up with a list of competitive BDS counties as it preps a vote on deregulating Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs), of which CenturyLink is one.

“These additional approvals show that regulators understand the CenturyLink-Level 3 merger will bring substantial service benefits to our customers, employees and communities,” said CenturyLink SVP John F. Jones of the latest state sign-offs. “The combined company will have a stronger and larger network that will help drive economic growth and connect consumers and businesses to the power of the digital world.”

The merger is valued at $34 billion including debt.

Along with the AT&T-Time Warner merger, it will be one of the first big media mergers to be vetted primarily under the Trump administration. Trump has talked about reducing regs, but also about blocking consolidation among media outlets.