CenturyLink says it has completed its purchase of Qwest, combining the country's third- and fourth-largest traditional phone companies into one.
The consolidation is a response to steady cancellation of landlines as households chose to rely on cell phones or cable phone service.
The closing of the $12.2 billion all-stock deal follows nearly a year of regulatory reviews. The combined company offers landline phone service in parts of 37 states.
CenturyLink is keeping its headquarters in Monroe, Louisiana. Qwest's Denver headquarters will turn into one of CenturyLink's six regional headquarters and will also be the overall headquarters for its business services group.
The combined company has about 47,000 employees, and some job cuts can expected. Both CenturyLink and Qwest have already been cutting jobs, because they're losing phone lines as customers chose to rely on cell phones or cable phone service.
Now, the company has 15 million phone lines, or as many as Qwest alone had in 2005. The only larger landline phone companies now are AT&T, Inc. and Verizon Communications, Inc.