CenturyLink-Qwest merger gets Washington State regulatory approval

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is now just two approvals away from completing its merger with Qwest (NYSE: Q) by its April 1 target date as the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved the deal.

As has been the case with other states, the Washington UTC's approval of the deal comes with various conditions that relate to customer service and merger costs.

From a consumer perspective, the two service providers have to agree to cap local residential rates three years after the sale in addition to investing $80 million to expand broadband service coverage to serve more rural customers. Neither CenturyLink nor Qwest can pass on related merger costs on to ratepayers and any merger savings have to be reported to the UTC.

Other conditions require the service providers to also reduce rates charged to other service providers for in-state calls and the new service provider will have to give the UTC plans for back office systems that support customer service.

Already approved by 19 states, including Washington, the merger only needs approval from the state of Oregon and the FCC.

For more:
- the News Tribune has this article

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