The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has agreed to clear CenturyLink’s pending acquisition of Level 3 Communications, subject to the divestment of certain metro network and dark fibre assets. Under the consent decree, the combined company is required to divest Level 3 network assets in three metropolitan areas: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Boise, Idaho; and Tucson, Arizona. The combined company will continue to serve all current Level 3 customers unless they choose to be served by the buyer of divested assets in each metro area. The consent decree also stipulates that the combined company must divest 24 strands of dark fibre connecting 30 specified city-pairs across the country in the form of an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU), a customary structure for such transactions. Because the fibres are not currently in commercial use, this divestiture will not affect any current customers or services.
The acquisition remains subject to regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), along with other customary closing conditions. CenturyLink expects to close the deal in mid-to-late October.