FairPoint/Verizon deal faces Maine chill

It's difficult to recall a telco acquisition that has generated as much scrutiny and opposition as North Carolina-based FairPoint Communications' proposed $2.7 billion buy of Verizon Communications properties in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Following public hearings in Maine over the proposed sale, a hearing examiner has issued a report to the Maine Public Utilities Commission that recommends the PUC not approve the deal. The acquisition needs to be approved by regulators in all three states to proceed, and after broad and loud public debate, we've now seen reports urging disapproval in Maine and New Hampshire, and a report in Vermont that urges approval, but with more than 50 conditions attached.

This acquisition is starting to make the AT&T/BellSouth deal look like a quick, over-the-counter purchase. It was announced last January, and regulator votes finally should be forthcoming. FairPoint has until next Monday to file a response to the Maine report.

For more:
- read this story in BusinessWeek

Related articles:
- Verizon union workers also have opposed the deal