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Columbia Cartel

8:30 AM -- Waltham, Mass.-based carrier CTC Communications Inc., a property of Vancouver, Wash.-based Columbia Ventures Corp., has acquired one of Connecticut's largest phone companies, Connecticut Broadband. Connecticut Broadband was formed last year when Connecticut Telephone, established in 1980, merged with Partner Communications, founded in 1996.

Not many financial details are available yet, but there is something of interest here. This will be CTC's second major transaction in less than six months. In May 2005, Lightship Telecom merged with CTC Communications.

CTC's owner, Columbia Ventures, has its paws on several popular telecom concerns and is evidently using CTC to do some rolling up in a big way in the Northeast.

Columbia Ventures owns Hibernia Atlantic, Magnet Networks Ltd., and Leap Broadband -- all based in Dublin, Ireland. It’s also the largest shareholder of Thus plc (London: THUS) and it has a minority stake in Cogent Communications Group Inc. (Amex: COI).

— Phil Harvey, M&A&Stuff Editor, Light Reading

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