For you lucky folks in New England who just got access to Verizon's 50Mbps FiOS services, you didn't think those hefty upgrades were sans a cost, did ya? Sure, Verizon's socking it to the high-end customers on that monthly bill, but the huge implementation costs ($18 billion, to be exact) of running all that fiber has persuaded Verizon to "sell the New England landline business as well as lines in several Midwestern states" to get a whopping $1.7 billion in debt wiped from its slate. The purpose of the merger is to free up assets to continue full speed ahead with its extremely costly FiOS rollouts, and since Verizon is intelligently targeting the largest markets (read: most lucrative) first, it's leaving the rural spots for FairPoint to handle. Nearly 3,000 Verizon employees will now be receiving checks from the Charlotte, NC-based FairPoint, with about 600 more expected to switch after the deal is completed. Additionally, shareholders will receive $1 billion of FairPoint common stock in the merger, as both companies attempt to keep everyone smiling throughout the process. If everything goes as planned, which typically never happens in these type deals, the merge will be complete "by year's end," so if you're content with Verizon services up in New England or the Midwest, don't be alarmed if "some FairPoint bill" starts showing up in your mail. [Warning: Read link requires subscription]

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Verizon to merge with FairPoint in New England, Midwestern states