Rumor: Level3 to Merge with CenturyLink

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Rumor: Level3 to Merge with CenturyLink

This was the big rumor yesterday that the Wall Street Journal started. There was speculation back in July about Level3 being up for sale. There even was the rumor that Comcast was going to buy L3.

Level3 has a bad quarter financially and the C-Suite says, "Don't look here! Look over there!"

Also, bankers! Besides the C-Suite, Bankers are the only ones making money on these deals. So yeah that want more M&A - as overall M&A activity in 2016 is down. Truthfully, bankers have ruined telecom with all this M&A.

Yesterday I was at a TelAdvocate event in Tampa. No agent there thought it was a good idea. Emails from other agents are basically panic. We just got done with integration. Please not another one!!!

What do they get with this merger? Two very opposite cultures. One is mainly an RLEC. One is mainly a wholesaler. Not does that match up?

Level3 fiber is everywhere that Qwest is with its Genuity, Gobal Crossing and own long haul fiber. L3 could probably do a better job selling colocation and data center that C-Link.

The big picture is that you would have a larger telco with massive debt -- and declining revenue. Since CenturyLink has debt of around $20B with about $18B in revenue and Level 3 has debt of about $10B with $8B in annual revenue, the combined entity would have $26B in revenue and $30B in debt. Plus years of integration work, layoffs, confusion, and eventually lost revenue and a lousy organization.

As brokers of telecom, we want choice in the marketplace. This doesn't achieve that.

I am hoping this is just a banker balloon. Both stocks moved up, so maybe someone was just doing some day trading.

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