nTelos FiberNet acquisition faces opposition from Frontier

The ink may be barely dry on nTelos' (NASDAQ: NTLS) bid to acquire competitive provider FiberNet in its West Virginia home state, but already incumbent carrier Frontier (NYSE: FTR) wants conditions placed on the deal.

When Frontier wrapped its acquisition of Verizon's rural lines in July, it not only became West Virginia's largest service provider but also one of nTelos' main competitors.

According to a Charleston Daily Mail article, Frontier said in a petition that nTelos' acquisition of FiberNet "raises a number of issues" and "a thorough examination of the facts and circumstances" is needed "in order to determine whether competitive equity requires that certain conditions imposed upon Frontier should also be imposed upon nTelos, FiberNet, or both. Further, it is possible that different conditions might be appropriate, depending upon the development of the facts..."

In order to gain West Virginia's regulatory approval for its acquisition of Verizon's lines, Frontier had to agree to various conditions, including build a $231 million network by 2013, expand broadband availability, and maintain its headquarters in Charleston.

Providing proper interconnection with both carriers is a major concern for Frontier. Since it interconnects with both FiberNet and nTelos, Frontier said it "has an interest in exploring what, if any, operational issues might arise as a result of nTelos' acquisition of FiberNet."

While nTelos and FiberNet asked the West Virginia Public Service Commission to approve their deal by the end of this October, the PSC has three options in front of them: approve the FiberNet/nTelos deal as is, place conditions on it or just reject it.   

For more:
- Charleston Daily Mail has this story

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