Telecommunications

CenturyLink delays Level 3 acquisition

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To accommodate an upcoming California Public Utilities Commission meeting, CenturyLink will delay the close of its acquisition of Level 3 Communications until mid-October.

The two companies were among the 10 prime contractors named by the General Services Administration in August for its $50 next-generation telecommunications contract. AT&T, BT Federal, Core Technologies, Granite Telecommunications, Harris Corp., Manhattan Telecommunications (MetTel), MicroTech and Verizon were the others.

"We view the slight delay in our projected closing date as manageable, and it does not affect our integration planning process," CenturyLink CEO Glen Post said in a Sept. 12 announcement. "Both teams are ready to begin the integration process as soon as closing occurs."

The company said its decision to push the closing date was because of a Sept. 8 ruling by a California administrative law judge. Although the judge found the transaction to be in the public interest, the company said the judge recommended the deal be reviewed by the California Public Utilities Commission at its Oct. 12 meeting for approval.

CenturyLink said it now anticipates the Level 3 transaction to close in mid-to-late October 2017.

A CenturyLink spokeswoman told FCW the shift doesn't affect its EIS planning. "We are each still working on all the activities necessary to get to [authority to operate]."

Post said the acquisition has been cleared by 24 states and territories since it began the approval process last October when CenturyLink said it would buy Level 3 in a $34 billion cash-and-stock deal.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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