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Level 3-tw telecom Merger Almost a Done Deal

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q3 2014.**

Level 3 Communications Inc. on Friday got the final regulatory approval needed for its proposed, $7.3 billion purchase of tw telecom inc.

The Federal Communications Commission on Oct. 24 gave the deal its blessing, which means it now only need shareholder approval. The Justice Department cleared the transaction, which calls for Level 3 to pay $5.7 billion and assume tw telecom’s $1.6 billion in debt, last month.

Level 3 announced in June that it planned to buy fellow Colorado-based service provider tw telecom for its Ethernet and fiber expertise and coverage. tw telecom CEO Larissa Herda has said she will not be joining the new company. Instead, she will walk away from the provider she ran for 16 years with an approximately $42 million paycheck.

But John Blount, tw telelecom’s president and CEO, will be joining Level 3 as regional president, APAC. Some partners say they hope Blount’s presence in the Level 3 executive circle bodes well for the channel. Blount is well known as a channel advocate, while Level 3’s channel commitment has come into question over the years. Some partners recently told Channel Partners that they are concerned that Level 3 might put a dent in tw telecom’s channel progress.

Meantime, Level 3 has not yet said who’s going to oversee the combined channel; a number of industry insiders are predicting that Garrett Gee will keep his channel chief title. If that happens, it’s not known whether Dale Kammerich would remain at the new Level 3.


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