Why Consumer Advocates Are Wary of the Qwest Merger

November 2010

Integra Telecom Holdings Inc. is no longer standing in the way of Qwest and the company that will soon merge with it: CenturyLink. The terms have not been disclosed, writes The Associated Press, but consumer advocates are skeptical of the progress. At issue is Qwest's customer service, including repairs that are taking longer than they should. Officials with Colorado's Office of Consumer Council are concerned that Qwest's service could become even worse after a merger with Louisiana-based CenturyLink, in which $575 million in annual operating costs are expected to be cut, the AP notes in a separate article. 

The companies have the support of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission so long as they commit at least $70 million to expand broadband in Colorado over the next five years, according to the Denver Business Journal. The companies will also agree to a set of customer-service standards and promise to report on their merger quarterly.