Telecom Merger Contingent On Divestitures In Three States

Published: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 4:21pm

Telecommunications giant CenturyLink said Monday that federal antitrust regulators have approved its roughly $25 billion proposed merger with Level 3 Communication Inc., subject to divestitures of assets involving metro networks and dark fiber, in a consent decree that awaits court approval.

The U.S. Department of Justice signed off on the deal with an agreed-upon consent decree that outlines the divestiture requirements, according to documents filed in D.C. federal court.

The consent decree filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia allowed the internet service providers to combine operations provided that Level 3 sells some assets around Tucson, Albuquerque and Boise.

The companies must also sell 24 strands of long-distance “dark” fiber not in use. Such lines usually go to telecom companies at the internet’s core, though web companies such as Google owner Alphabet as well as Facebook have built their own network backbones in recent years.

The deal still needs nods from the Federal Communications Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission.

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