Frontier just came one step closer to establishing itself as one of the U.S.'s largest independent ILECs as state regulators in California, Nevada and South Carolina gave their thumbs up for its acquisition of Verizon's rural wireline operations. Nevada's Public Utilities Commission and the Public Service Commission of South Carolina separately approved the acquisition on Wednesday this week, while the California Public Utilities Commission gave their approval this Thursday respectively.
In addition to gaining these recent state approvals, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice granted Frontier's request for early termination of the waiting period in the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. Frontier's impending acquisition also cleared a major internal hurdle as Frontier's shareowners earlier this week announced their approval of the acquisition, one that will give Frontier ownership of Verizon's wireline network facilities in all or segments of 14 states.
To complete the acquisition, Frontier still needs FCC approval and state regulatory approval in Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia. Frontier now also has to get cable TV franchise approval from 10 of the 41 communities it will serve in Oregon and Washington State.
Beyond clearing regulatory hurdles, Frontier is also facing a public relations hurdle. Fearing that Frontier's acquisition could spell potential job cuts and fall into the same troubles that FairPoint has suffered since it purchased Verizon's lines in New England, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union launched a protest to block the deal.
- see the release here
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Will Frontier fall into the same pothole as FairPoint?