CenturyLink to spend $10.6B to get Qwest

The competitive space just got a little hotter. CenturyLink (aka CenturyTel before it swallowed Embarq) plans to swap stock worth $10.6 billion to acquire Qwest Communications, merging the nation's third and fifth largest telcos to create a telecommunications company that would serve customers in 37 states.

On the surface the deal combines two telephone companies with little interest in video entertainment (a la FiOS or U-Verse) and no mobile wireless play. In that way it's not threatening for cable operators--yet. The biggest threat is to non-traditional cable businesses such as commercial voice and broadband data offerings, nascent cable businesses that are just gaining footholds.

The combo company has the immediate mandate to "deliver strategic and customized product and service solutions to our business, wholesale and government customers," said Glen Post, CenturyLink's CEO-president. "This combination will enhance our ability to deploy innovative IP products and high bandwidth services to business customers."

For more:
- see this news release
- and this story

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The curious case of Qwest Communications