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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

CenturyLink, Level 3 clear final pre-merger hurdle

CenturyLink has received the final approval it needs to close its $34 billion combination with Level 3 Communications.

The Federal Communications Commission gave its OK for the deal Monday. The companies will now move forward to close the deal on Nov. 1.

“We now have all the regulatory approvals we need to close the transaction,” John Jones, CenturyLink senior vice president for public policy and government relations said in a statement.

The FCC approval comes at the end of a busy month of approvals for the deal, including the Oct. 4 approval by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia of a Justice Department consent decree.

On Oct. 12, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the deal. California was the last state utilities commission to sign off on the transaction.

Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia had all approved the deal ahead of California.

The merger of near equals was first announced a year ago and during the regulatory approval process, the companies started lining up the pieces of its combined operations.

For example, Ed Morche, a 20-year Level 3 executive, rejoined the company in July and will be president of CenturyLink’s strategic enterprise, federal government and state government business. He formerly led Level 3’s federal business before going to work as president of sales at Zayo Group.

Erich Sanchack, who has been leading CenturyLink’s federal solutions group, will become senior vice president for IT services and new market development.

Also during the review period for the deal, CenturyLink and Level 3 both secured positions on the $50 billion General Services Administration Enterprise Infrastructure Services contract.

Interestingly, both companies took different approaches. Level 3 formed a team with 17 partners but CenturyLink is taking more of a case-by-case approach with a strategy to bring individual partners in as the task orders flow out.

The companies will go through a novation process as part of the integration. That process will help identify in more detail where the companies overlap and what kind of integration will be needed.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 30, 2017 at 7:02 PM


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