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February 15, 2017

What is CenturyLink?

A company boasting a history of growth through acquisitions.

By Ellie Burns

CenturyLink is a US provider of high speed internet, phone and TV services.

The company is the one of the biggest telecommunications companies in the US, usually ranking behind Verizon and AT&T.

First operating under the Century brand in 1968, the company had its beginnings back in 1930 with the Oak Ridge Telephone Company. Growing through acquisitions, the company changed brand name many times – Central Telephone and Electronics, to Century Telephone Enterpises, to CenturyTel.

In 2009, following the acquisition of Embarq, the company announced that the combined entity would now be called CenturyLink.


What did CenturyLink buy for $25 billion?

Although known as an internet provider, CenturyLink also operates 55 data centres across the US, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Billed as the second largest retail colocation provider in the US, the company also offers cloud, security, managed hosting and IT services and consulting to businesses.

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Continuing the company’s trend of growth through acquisiton, CenturyLink paid $25 billion for Level 3 in 2016. As the 3rd largest provider of fiber-optic internet access in the US, the acquisition served to boost CenturyLink’s share of the internet market.


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