Just as we all started to finally get used to calling it “Qwest”, the region’s largest phone service provider is once again changing names.
Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink (called “CenturyTel” until October 2009) has announced intentions to acquire Denver-based Qwest Communications in a stock-for-stock transaction.
Although approval is still pending, both companies expect the merger to be completed by 1st Quarter, 2011. Press releases from both companies state that subscribers will see little effect from the resulting merger.
Once the merger is complete, the Qwest name will be retired, and the resulting company will operate solely under the CenturyLink banner. Qwest’s current corporate operations in Denver, Colorado will be shifted to CenturyLink’s headquarters in Monroe, Louisiana.
CenturyLink will become the fourth name attached to the region’s main phone service provider in just under twenty years. In 1991, the Northwestern Bell name was officially retired by its parent, US West, which was later acquired by Qwest in 2000.
Land-line telephone service providers have seen significant decreases in revenues over the past few years, due largely to their failure to adapt to changing market trends, particularly cellular phones. The combined Qwest/CenturyLink company will have roughly the same amount of phone lines that Qwest, alone, had eight years ago.
It’s sort of ironic that, not too long ago, the nation’s largest phone service provider, AT&T (“Ma Bell”), was part of an anti-trust breakup due to their classification as a total monopoly.