Frontier may be one step closer to clearing another state regulatory hurdle in its pending purchase of Verizon's rural lines.
Today, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) and competitor Cincinnati Bell Extended Territories have come to an agreement on various issues related to the transfer Verizon's landline network to Frontier. In addition, Frontier reached a separate agreement with Comcast Phone Ohio. Although a release issued by Verizon did not specify what these agreements were, PUCO staff and the PUCO staff and OCC recommend that the commission adopt the agreements.
In June, the Ohio PUC at the request of the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) decided to suspend its approval of the acquisition when they questioned whether the deal would be in the public's best interest. The OCC raised objections to the deal when it was initially announced in May, but maintained it wanted PUCO to make sure the acquisition would provide benefits to Ohio residents.
Ohio isn't the only state that's raised objections to Frontier's Verizon acquisition. Although Frontier recently got approvals from California, Nevada and South Carolina, other states such as West Virginia, Oregon and Washington State have raised objections to the deal. Unfortunately, the precedent set by FairPoint's inability to quickly resolve issues with its takeover of Verizon's New England lines, is likely causing regulators to take a more careful look at the Frontier deal.
- see the release here
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