MONROE, La. (AP) _ CenturyTel Inc. has completed its purchase of
Embarq Corp., forming a new rural telecommunications giant.
The Federal Communications Commission signed off last week on the Monroe, La.-based company's proposed purchase of Embarq, based
in Overland Park, Kan.
The companies on Wednesday said they had closed the deal and would continue operating with the separate brands for now. The company will rename itself CenturyLink later this year, seeking shareholder approval of the name change next year.
The combined company serves about 7.5 million telephone lines spanning 22 states, 2.1 million broadband customers and more than
440,000 video subscribers.
Embarq serves rural areas and smaller cities in 18 states as well as Las Vegas. CenturyTel's service areas are mainly in the South and Midwest, with some service in Colorado and the Northwest.