U.S. network operator says it will complete $34 billion takeover in October

CenturyLink this week announced a slight delay in the closure of its planned acquisition of rival Level 3 Communications, but said the companies are ready to begin integrating their businesses as soon as the deal is completed.

The U.S. network operator said it expects the transaction to close in mid-to-late October.

The news comes in the wake of the California Administrative Law Judge’s decision last week to recommend that the California Public Utilities Commission approve the transaction at a meeting on 12 October, CenturyLink said.

When it announced the US$34 billion deal in October 2016, CenturyLink said it aimed to complete the tie-up by the end of Q3 this year.

"Since we began the regulatory approval process, 24 states and territories have approved or cleared CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3 and recognise this transaction is clearly in the public interest and will be good for competition in the enterprise market," said CenturyLink CEO Glen Post.

"We are working to obtain the remaining approvals, including the State of California, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Communications Commission, and want to give the regulators time to complete their review process," Post said.

He described the slight delay in the process as "manageable," and said it does not affect the companies’ plans for merging their businesses.

"Both teams are ready to begin the integration process as soon as closing occurs," Post said.