CenturyLink-Qwest merger gets Minnesota PUC's approval

CenturyLink  (NYSE: CTL) and Qwest (NYSE: Q) are anxious to complete their merger by April 1, and they came yet another step closer to that goal as the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) granted their approval of the deal.

Minnesota's approval comes after it conducted what it says was a "comprehensive review of the transaction, including agreements reached with several competitive carriers in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and other states."

Both service providers agreed to invest at least $50 million to upgrade the state's broadband network infrastructure in over a five year period as one of the conditions to receive approval for the merger.

Last month, the Minnesota PUC delayed giving the companies a decision on the merger so it could properly address concerns raised by a coalition of Qwest smaller wholesale customers on how CenturyLink would support them after the deal is completed.

Earlier this week, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved the merger. With 19 states and the 19 states and the District of Columbia granting their approval of the deal, the two service providers now need approval from Oregon and Washington, and the FCC.

For more:
- see the release
- check out our Q4 wireline provider metrics

Related articles:
CenturyLink sees Qwest merger as path to facilitate business, broadband growth
Minnesota PUC delays decision on CenturyLink, Qwest merger
CenturyLink-Qwest marriage gets Arizona Corporation Commission's blessing
CenturyLink Q4 revenues dip, 2011 outlook raises red flags

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