Reuters is reporting that Level3 has bought WilTel.
In many ways this fills in some geographic gaps in where Level3's network reaches.
Here's Level3's official statement via PR Newswire.
WilTel's seller, Leucadia National Corp was an attempted buyer at one point of MCI. My guess is being that fizzled their interest in WilTel waned and the need or ability to blend it into something bigger also died with it.
My view is that consolidation in the telecom world is continuing. First AT&T and SBC tied the knot. Then MCI and Verizon joined up. Smaller deals are happening, but this marks the consolidation of two players who built fiber networks in the 90s for what was anticipated to occur this decade. Level3 also owns what was the Genuity network, the third SIP based carrier. In essence Level3 has become the last man standing of that troika and along with BroadWing now has likely the newest technology and fiber build out in the USA.
The weak link though remains the lack of an Asian presence for Level3. Currently they work largely through partners in that part of the world, while in Europe having their own operation. One has to wonder what shoe they will drop next, because I don't think this move, a good one, is their last.
Om weighs in with some thoughts.