Verizon and Frontier have moved closer towards completing the sale and purchase of Verizon’s local wireline operations in 14 states.  The approval of the Oregon Public Utility Commission brings to six the number of state PUCs/PSCs who have given their blessing to the transaction.

Verizon last May announced that it would divest local wireline operations serving residential and small business customers in predominantly rural and small- to medium-sized areas of the 14 states. In addition to receiving approval from state regulators in Illinois, Washington and West Virginia, Verizon and Frontier need to gain FCC approval in order to close the transaction.

“By approving this transaction, the Oregon Public Utility Commission is acting in the interest of consumers and commerce in the state,” president of Verizon’s West region Tim McCallion said in a news release. “Ultimately, this transaction will allow both companies to concentrate on their respective strengths. The benefits in Oregon will include increased broadband availability for consumers and small businesses that will be served by Frontier.”

The Federal Trade Commission and the Dept. of Justice have granted the companies’ request for an early termination of the waiting period stipulated by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The IRS has issued a favorable ruling regarding the tax consequences of the divestment and subsequent merger, another condition of closing the deal. The two parties have also received cable television franchise approval from 41 communities that will be served in Oregon and Washington state, subject to meeting certain conditions.

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