Qwest settles with merger opponent
The settlement removes a major roadblock to a $10.6 billion acquisition.
By Steve Alexander, Star Tribune
November 8, 2010
It was the latest step by Denver-based Qwest and its
acquirer, Louisiana-based CenturyLink, to win regulatory
approval of the merger. Last month, a settlement between Qwest
and its unions over jobs and severance removed another barrier
to the deal. Qwest has about 3,300 employees in
The Qwest telephone network stretches over 14 states, so the acquisition must be approved by regulators in several states. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is expected to rule on the deal by February.
Even after the settlement with Integra, the Qwest
acquisition is still opposed in
In the settlement, Integra won several concessions, including promises that the combined Qwest-CenturyLink wouldn't pass on any merger-related expenses to Integra. In addition, Integra acquired the power to veto some changes in the software that runs Qwest's network, and won a promise that Qwest's billing systems wouldn't be changed for about two years. It also won the right to demand an investigation into the cause of any deterioration in the Qwest network services it uses.
Sprint, which is concerned about its costs of using the
Qwest network, continues to oppose the acquisition, said
spokesman John Taylor in
Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553