Asking Hard Questions About Qwest Merger

April 2010
Think of Louisiana-based Century Tel's acquisition of Qwest Communications as a blow to Denver's ego. Not only are high-paying jobs likely to be lost as the Denver headquarters disappears and a bright blue Qwest sign is removed from a 53-story city skyscraper. Denver is losing another corporate giant and its largest Fortune 500 company, The Denver Post notes, sparking questions about whether there's something inherently wrong with Denver and whether whatever that problem might be precipitated the move. There are no definite answers, but Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, says, "That is not a question people want asking about you." However, the $22 billion sale of Qwest might not be all bad for Denver. The combination of the two companies might benefit Qwest customers. CenturyTel has a stronger balance sheet and has done better at investing in its network, according to an analyst cited by The Associated Press. The sale should translate to better access to high-speed Internet and more bundled services.