CenturyLink Inc. and Qwest Communications International Inc. now have support for their merger from a once-reluctant source, Oregon-based CLEC Integra Telecom.
On Monday, CenturyLink and Qwest said theyve reached a deal on wholesale conditions with Integra, and Integra said its pleased with the outcome.
"After extensive negotiations over the last month, we are pleased to have arrived at an agreement that resolves all of our issues with the merger," Dudley Slater, Integras CEO, said in a prepared statement. "This addresses the concerns we had regarding the potential risks the merger posed and from our perspective, the merger is in the public interest and should be approved."
Since the $10.4 billion CenturyLink-Qwest merger was announced, Integra which buys a large volume of interconnection services from Qwest has opposed the deal, citing pricing and competition concerns. But Integra now says a CenturyLink-Qwest transaction serves the public interest.
Qwest and CenturyLink say theyve reached similar agreements with other CLECs throughout their combined regions; the two companies also have secured approvals from 12 states and the District of Columbia.