CenturyLink Inc., now known as Lumen Technologies Inc., has agreed to pay $275,000 to resolve a civil contempt claim by the Department of Justice arising from CenturyLink’s violations of the Amended Final Judgment that was designed to preserve competition following CenturyLink’s 2018 acquisition of Level 3 Communications Inc.
The Justice Department's Antitrust Division today filed a petition in federal court in Washington, D.C., asking the court to find CenturyLink in civil contempt of the Amended Final Judgment. At the same time, the department filed a settlement agreement and order that, if approved by the court, would resolve the claim.
“CenturyLink is a repeat offender,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “The request for a finding of civil contempt is appropriate because the company violated its amended obligations immediately after the court imposed them. When companies fail to comply with court-ordered obligations, the Antitrust Division will take action to enforce them.”
CenturyLink previously violated the 2018 Final Judgment entered by the court to resolve the department’s competitive concerns arising from CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3. The August 2020 settlement relating to these violations led to a more stringent Amended Final Judgment and imposition of costs against CenturyLink. Among the additional requirements in the Amended Final Judgment was a two-year extension of the ban on CenturyLink’s initiating contact with customers in the Boise-Nampa, Idaho, metropolitan area who had switched their business to the acquirer of the assets divested under the original Final Judgment.
In the petition filed today, the department alleges that CenturyLink violated the non-solicitation provision by sending more than 100 marketing emails to Boise-area customers who had switched their business away from CenturyLink. The accompanying settlement agreement and order requires CenturyLink to make a $275,000 payment to the United States. That payment includes reimbursement to the government for the cost of its investigation into CenturyLink’s alleged violations.
In September 2020, CenturyLink changed its name to Lumen Technologies Inc. Lumen is incorporated and headquartered in Louisiana and is one of the largest wireline telecommunications providers in the United States. In 2020, Lumen had revenues of approximately $20.7 billion.