Colorado PUC Endorses CenturyLink-Qwest Combo

The day after receiving merger approvals from Montana, CenturyLink and Qwest have secured the same consent from Colorados regulators.

The Centennial States Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday blessed CenturyLink and Qwests pending, $22.4 billion union about a month after staff recommended the companies be allowed to seal the deal.

The permission comes with the caveat that the combined CenturyLink-Qwest will invest at least $70 million in broadband infrastructure over the next five years. CenturyLink and Qwest have made similar concessions in Arizona, Iowa and Montana.

Colorado will be the largest operating state, out of 37, for CenturyLink-Qwest. In a prepared statement, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter said he hopes the two carriers will create a stronger company to participate in the increasingly competitive communications marketplace [and] provide more choices for consumers in Colorado.”

Seven states and the FCC still must sign off on the transaction, which CenturyLink and Qwest hope to complete in 2011s first quarter.

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