Five States Give CenturyTel, Embarq Go-Ahead

Several states this week blessed the pending union of CenturyTel Inc. (CTL) and its larger rival, Embarq Corp. (EQ).

Regulators in Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska and Ohio have approved the $11.6 billion deal that’s already been approved by the FTC and the companies’ respective investors.

The rural LECs first announced the transaction last October; it’s expected to close in the second quarter of this year. When details are completed, the combined company will operate in 33 states, boast approximately 7.7 million access lines and have 2 million broadband users.

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