Centurylink faces enforcement action for violating anti-competitive deal with DOJ

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) commenced an enforcement action against Centurylink (NYSE: CTL) for violating the terms of their agreement designed to prevent anti-competitive impacts arising from its acquisition of Level 3 Communications.

In 2016, Centurylink entered into a deal to acquire Level 3 Communications. The Justice Department investigated the proposed acquisition and concluded that I would harm competition in the markets for fiber-based enterprise and wholesale telecommunications providing local connectivity in three Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) including the Boise MSA. The deal would also harm markets for Intercity Dark Fiber connecting thirty city pairs within the United States.

Allegations against Centurylink

In 2017, the DOJ filed an antitrust complaint to stop Centurylink’s acquisition of Level 3 Communications. During the same year, the parties agreed to a court-approved Final Judgment to eliminate the anti-competitive impacts of the acquisition.

Centurylink and Level 3 agreed to comply with all the terms of the Final Judgment including releasing MSA customers from their contractual obligations and not to solicit any MSA customer who switched to the buyer of the divestiture assets for two years.