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PSC approves CenturyLink-Qwest's proposed merger

JACKSON — CenturyLink Inc. of Monroe, La., and Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc. have received approval of their pending merger from nine of the states requiring it, including Mississippi.

The Public Service Commission for the District of Columbia determined no action is necessary.

The companies also received antitrust clearance from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission when the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act was terminated early July 15, 2010.

Last week, the companies received approvals from the Louisiana and Mississippi public service commissions. Additionally, the California Public Utilities Corporation, the Georgia Public Service Commission, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, the Maryland Public Service Commission, the Ohio Public Utilities Commission, the West Virginia Public Service Commission and the New York Public Service Commission have already cleared the companies’ merger applications without conditions.

The companies must receive approval from 12 additional states, as well as the Federal Communications Commission. Shareholders from each company approved proposals related to the transaction in August. The companies still expect to complete the transaction during the first half of 2011.

The combined company will be headquartered in Monroe, La., and will maintain a key operational presence in Denver. Together, the companies employ approximately 49,000 people nationwide.

As of June 30, 2010, CenturyLink served approximately 2.3 million broadband customers, 6.8 million access lines and 594,000 video subscribers. As of June 30, 2010, Qwest served approximately 2.9 million broadband customers, 9.4 million access lines, 950,000 video subscribers and more than 980,000 wireless customers. The combination creates a robust, national 180,000 route mile fiber network, which enables delivery of a diverse mix of offerings and increased scale.

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