Merger between CenturyLink and Qwest moves forwardA merger between CenturyLink and Qwest is getting closer to completion as nine state Public Utility Commissions have indicated their approval of the deal.

The two telecom companies had already received antitrust clearance from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, and now nine states - in addition to the District of Columbia, which believes no action is necessary - have issued approval for the merger to move forward.

In addition to the capital, CenturyLink's home state of Louisiana has approved the arrangement, along with the Mississippi Public Service Commission, which gave its approval for the deal last week. This was followed by 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, which each cleared the companies' merger applications without conditions.

To complete the deal, the two companies must secure the approval of 12 more states and the Federal Communications Commission. Executives at both CenturyLink and Qwest expect to see this goal achieved in the first half of 2011.
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