Justice Department Slaps CenturyLink for Anti-competitive Actions

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Following an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, CenturyLink Inc. admits to ignoring a deal with the federal government aimed at preventing anticompetitive practices.

CenturyLink acquired Level 3 Communications in 2017, in a deal that barred the telecom giant from soliciting customers that switched to the buyer of assets divested during the deal. According to Justice Department documents, however, CenturyLink failed to uphold the agreement when it tried to pluck over 70 former Level 3 customers over the course of one year, reports Yahoo Finance

CenturyLink reportedly denied it violated the terms of the judgement. In a statement the telecom said it was, “pleased with the cooperative partnership of the Department of Justice in reaching a resolution that was in the best interest of all parties.” 

Yahoo Finance says CenturyLink is required to pay the U.S. Treasury $250,000 to settle costs related to investigating the violation. 

“When a defendant violates the terms of a settlement decree, it must be held accountable to its obligations to the department and the American consumer,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said.  “Today’s motion to amend the Final Judgment ensures that consumers get the benefit of competition otherwise lost by CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3 Communications.” 

The ruling also extends the original solicitation agreement by two years and an independent trustee will be assigned to monitor an amended court agreement. 

CenturyLink spokesperson Mark Molzen said, “While CenturyLink disagrees with the government’s characterization of the alleged violations, we were pleased with the cooperative partnership of the Department of Justice in reaching a resolution that was in the best interest of all parties.”

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