CenturyLink gets 4 additional state approvals for Level 3 acquisition

A map of CenturyLink and Level 3's network
CenturyLink is on track to become the second largest Ethernet services provider in the U.S. once its acquisition of Level 3 is complete. (Map: CenturyLink)

CenturyLink has gotten the blessing from four additional state regulators for its pending Level 3 Communications acquisition, clearing another hurdle to complete a transformational deal for the telco.

In this round, Alaska, Colorado, New York and Pennsylvania approved the acquisition.

These four states join Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia in approving the purchase.

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The merger has also received regulatory clearance from Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Texas and the territory of Puerto Rico.

“More than 20 states and territories have now approved or cleared the CenturyLink-Level 3 merger,” said CenturyLink Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations John F. Jones. “The combined company will have an extensive global network with a greater range of services that will meet customers’ and communities’ growing bandwidth and technology needs.”

What sets apart this acquisition from others that CenturyLink and its predecessor company conducted previously is that it immediately scales the telco into an even larger player in the business services and wholesale segments.

In particular, Level 3 has continued to take market share from large telcos such as Verizon in the Ethernet services space.

Following its acquisition of tw telecom in 2015, CenturyLink surpassed Verizon as the third largest domestic U.S.-based Ethernet provider, according to Vertical Systems Group’s Ethernet Leaderboard ranking. Upon completing this acquisition, CenturyLink will become the second largest domestic Ethernet provider.

VSG said that Level 3 is taking a bigger stake in the global Ethernet market, surpassing Verizon as the fifth largest service provider as it expands service availability in Europe and South America.

What this means is CenturyLink will have an opportunity to gain a larger revenue share in the domestic and global business segments.

Although CenturyLink and Level 3 have been gaining necessary state and federal approvals, the transaction is still subject to the company receiving various regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The two companies continue to expect to receive the remaining state, federal and international approvals in time to complete the merger by Sept. 30, 2017.