CenturyLink pleads with FCC to approve Level 3 acquisition

A map of CenturyLink and Level 3's network
Image: CenturyLink

CenturyLink is making a final push to get the FCC to approve its pending acquisition of Level 3 Communications, with hopes of closing it later this month. The FCC is the only regulator that has yet to sign off on the purchase.

To date, CenturyLink and Level 3’s proposed merger has gotten approvals from 19 states. It has also gained pre-closing notice filings in 14 other states.

At this point, CenturyLink and Level only need the final sign off from the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which is expected to approve the acquisition during their meeting later this week.

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In September, a proposed decision to approve the acquisition was issued last month by Regina DeAngelis, the presiding Administrative Law Judge in California. The judge’s decision has been placed on the Consent Agenda for the California Public Utilities Commission’s next open meeting, scheduled for Thursday.

The California Administrative Law Judge proposed a decision that recognized the combination of CenturyLink and Level 3 was in the public interest.

Just last week, the deal was also approved by the Department of Justice with conditions that the two providers divest certain fiber assets in their respective regions.

Meanwhile, a U.S. District Court Judge executed the Asset Preservation Stipulation and Order filed jointly by the Division and the Applicants, clearing the applicants to complete the acquisition.

CenturyLink said in an FCC filing (PDF) that now it has gained these other approvals, the regulator should have all it needs to approve the acquisition.

“In light of these developments, and based on the record developed in this proceeding, the Applicants submit that the Transaction is in the public interest and thus urge the Commission to approve it forthwith,” CenturyLink said.