CenturyLink, Qwest Secure Merger Agreement From Two Unlikely Sources

CenturyLink and Qwest have secured agreement from two of the groups that have put up the most opposition from the two operators pending, $22.4 billion merger.

The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers now say the transaction serves the public interest, CenturyLink and Qwest said in a press release on Friday afternoon. As a result, CWA and IBEW will withdraw all filings against the merger from any remaining state and federal regulatory proceedings.

CenturyLink President and CEO Glen Post said hes pleased with the turn of events.

“CenturyLink values our positive relationships with our employees and unions,” Post said in a prepared statement. We rely on each and every employee to deliver an exceptional communications experience to our customers, and we will continue to work toward meeting their evolving communications needs.”

The two unions and the two operators will work together on issues including employment levels, call center stability, broadband investment and workers health care benefits, CenturyLink said. All collective bargaining contracts remain intact.

CenturyLink and Qwest already have gotten approvals from about half of the affected states, from shareholders and from the Federal Trade Commission. The combined companies headquarters will be located in Monroe, La., where CenturyLink is based, and together theyll own 180,000 route miles of fiber. Qwest will maintain an operational presence in Denver, where it was founded.

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