Utah Clears CenturyLink-Qwest Merger

The Utah Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved the pending merger between CenturyLink Inc. and Qwest Communications.

That means CenturyLink and Qwest only need regulatory approval from four more states Arizona, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington plus the Federal Communications Commission.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission also approved the transaction on Tuesday.

As part of the approval process in Utah, the telecommunications providers have committed to investing at least $25 million in broadband infrastructure in the state over five years.

Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink and Denver-based Qwest expect the merger to close during the first half of 2011.

The Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and 17 states plus the District of Columbia have approved the pending combination of CenturyLink and Qwest.

The combined company will provide communications services across 37 states.  As of Sept. 30, 2010, the companies served a combined 15.7 million access lines and 5.3 million broadband customers.

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