Qwest: We won't rule out M&A

Qwest Communications, despite a failed attempt this year to sell off its long-haul network assets, has managed to keep itself clear of any major acquisition or merger. Stopping short of announcing any possible deals of its own, Qwest's CEO and Chairman Ed Mueller said during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference that the company thinks there's "more opportunity" for service provider consolidation.

Mueller cautioned that Qwest will not strike deals just for the sake of using them to become a bigger company. Instead, he said "we'd want to do it in a way that our shareholders are advantaged and not disadvantaged."

Mueller added that this was one of the reasons why Qwest decided not to participate in the CenturyTel and EMBARQ merger. "That didn't mean we wouldn't have been interested," he said while noting that it will consider the possibility of potential deals, whether they involve selling assets or acquiring another service provider.

But with the large Tier 2 deals still in the midst of their respective integration processes, activity that will likely continue into the beginning of next year, it's unlikely that any major telco deals will happen.

For more:
- Reuters has this report

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