CenturyLink, Qwest merger gets nine state PUC approvals

CenturyLink's (NYSE: CTL) and Qwest's (NYSE: Q) merger took another step forward as nine state Public Utilities Commissions, including the District of Columbia which believes no action is necessary, have given regulatory approval for the deal.

These approvals follow the antitrust clearance the two telcos have already received from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

Included in this latest round of state approvals were CenturyLink's home state of Louisiana and Mississippi Public Service Commissions, which gave their respective approvals for the deal last week. This was followed by California Public Utilities Corporation, the Georgia Public Service Commission, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, the Maryland Public Service Commission, the Ohio Public Utilities Commission, the West Virginia Public Service Commission and the New York Public Service Commission have already cleared the companies' merger applications without conditions.

To complete the deal--something that the executives at both companies will happen in the first half of 2011--both service providers still need approval from 12 other states in addition to FCC's approval.

For more:
- see the release here

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