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CenturyLink to Buy Level 3 for $34 Billion in Cash, Stock

CenturyLink Inc. agreed to buy Level 3 Communications Inc. for about $34 billion cash and stock in a deal that will create a more formidable competitor in the market for business telecommunications services.

The acquisition values Level 3 at $66.50 a share, the companies said in a statement Monday. That’s about 42 percent above where the Broomfield, Colorado-based company was trading last week, before reports surfaced of a potential acquisition by CenturyLink, which is based in Monroe, Louisiana. The value of the deal includes assumed debt.

Level 3 is one of the largest providers used by internet services including Netflix Inc. and Google to route traffic across the web, operations that would bolster CenturyLink’s core offerings to businesses. The deal also promises to help CenturyLink by giving it access to about $10 billion in tax credits that Level 3 is carrying on its books, Jennifer Fritzsche, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities LLC, said last...