Ohio regulators suspend OK of Verizon-Frontier deal

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission, acting on the urging of a consumer advocate and a competitor who questioned the benefits of Frontier Communications' planned acquisition of Verizon rural lines, has suspended its approval of the deal. The Ohio Consumers Counsel raised objections to the deal last month, though the OCC has said it just wants the Ohio PUC to ensure the deal is in the public's best interests. Would-be competitor Cincinnati Bell Extended Territories also filed comments with the PUC.

The deal may yet be subjected to numerous public hearings that could take quite some time. Verizon is against taking the route--the company probably remembers all too well that it took well over a year complete a sale of its rural lines in New England to FairPoint Communications while that deal was heavily scrutinized in public hearings in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The FairPoint deal eventually went through, and has produced a sizable amount of controversy and customer disappointment ever since.

For more:
- The Ironton Tribune has this story

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The Frontier-Verizon deal was announced last month