CenturyLink to buy Level 3 for about $24 billion

CenturyLink is paying about $24 billion to buy Level 3, to expand its telecommunication services for businesses.

CenturyLink provides internet, TV and phone services to consumers, as well as data and IT services for businesses. Level 3 provides data, video and other communication services to businesses and government agencies.

Level 3 shareholders will receive about $66.50 in cash and a portion of CenturyLink stock for each share of Level 3 they own. The companies valued the deal at $34 billion, when debt is included.

The combined company will be based at CenturyLink's headquarters in Monroe, Louisiana. Level 3 is based in Broomfield, Colorado.

Shares of CenturyLink Inc. fell 6.7 percent to $38.35 before the stock market opened Monday, while Level 3 Communications Inc. shares rose 6.8 percent to $57.70.