CenturyLink Extends Level 3 Deal Closure Date

Says slight delay should not affect integration of companies

CenturyLink said it expects its deal to buy Level 3 Communications will close by mid-to-late October, which will require approval by the FCC and the Justice Department as well as remaining state sign-offs.

Related: CenturyLink-Level 3 Merger Gets More State Approvals

The companies had originally anticipated closing the deal at the end of this month. California won't vote on its state approval until Oct. 12, but CenturyLink pointed out that a California ALJ has deemed the deal in the public interest and recommended the California PUC approve it at that Oct. 12 meeting.

CenturyLink CEO Glen Post said the company views the "slight delay" as manageable and is ready to begin integrating Level 3 into the fold as soon as the deal is closed.

Post also said that the company wanted to give the FCC and DOJ time to complete their review, and the company has been working with regulators throughout to provide information and input; the announcement is a good sign the deal will not be blocked.

The merger, which would boost CenturyLink’s enterprise and wholesale broadband business data services, was announced Oct. 31, and applications were filed with the FCC and for antitrust review by Justice in December. The merger was valued at $34 billion including debt.

Along with the AT&T-Time Warner Inc. merger, the CenturyLink-Level 3 deal is one of the first big media mergers to be vetted primarily under the Trump administration. President Trump has talked about reducing regulations, but also about blocking consolidation among media outlets.