CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), having recently secured final regulatory approval, closed on its merger with Qwest Communications as of Friday morning.

The $10 billion-plus merger creates the nation’s third largest telecommunications provider.

One of its six regional headquarters will be located in Wake Forest.

The telecommunications provider, which is based in Monroe, La., had said its 37-state coverage area would be divided into six regions, each led by a region president.

CenturyLink acquired the Wake Forest operation, where some 400 people work, when it bought Embarq. Embarq had acquired the N.C. operation and customer service area when it bought the landline operations of Sprint.

“The combination of our two companies allows us to offer customers of all sizes an even more robust portfolio of communications solutions that will continue to be backed by honest and personal service,” said Glen F. Post, III, chief executive officer at CenturyLink.

The firm’s Business Markets Group will remain based in Denver, which is where Qwest had maintained its headquarters.

The consolidation is a response to steady cancellation of landlines as households chose to rely on cell phones or cable phone service. By buying up Qwest, CenturyLink will have a chance to cut corporate overhead.

The combined company will have about 15 million phone lines, or as many as Qwest alone had in 2005.

Qwest began its troubled path as a long-haul fiber network in the telecom boom of the late 90s. Helped by its sky-high stock price, it bought traditional “Baby Bell” phone company US West in 2000. It then was ensnared in accounting troubles.

Qwest is the larger company, but its high debt load left it unable to play the consolidator in the industry. That role has instead been taken by CenturyLink, which started as a small rural phone company. For the past decade, it’s been buying mainly rural phone companies and lines, culminating in the acquisition of Embarq in 2009 and now the acquisition of Qwest.

The only larger landline phone companies now are AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.

CenturyLink is keeping its headquarters in Monroe, La. Qwest’s Denver headquarters will turn into one of CenturyLink’s six regional headquarters and will also be the overall headquarters for its business services group. The other five regional headquarters will be in Phoenix, Minneapolis, Seattle, Wake Forest, N.C., and Apopka, Fla.

The combined company has about 47,000 employees, and some job cuts can expected from the combination. Both companies have been cutting jobs as they lose landline customers.

For more details about the combined company is organized state by state, read here.

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