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Gunster shareholder Beth Keating, a lawyer on Gunster’s government affairs law & lobbying team in Tallahassee, discusses whether approval by the Florida Public Service Commission is necessary when acquiring a telecommunications business in the state.

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Video produced by Charles Belvin Productions

Does acquisition of a Florida telecommunications company require Public Service Commission approval?

As is often the case, the answer is … it depends.

Let’s assume the telecommunications company you’re acquiring is already certified by the Florida Public Service Commission to do business in Florida.

If your business – the acquiring entity – holds a certificate to do business in Florida, or owns another entity certified to do business in Florida as a telecommunications company, there is no formal approval process required.

But there are other administrative steps that apply, such as:

  • providing notice to the commission after the transaction is completed;
  • updating tariffs to reflect the new ownership; and
  • making any associated name changes.

If, however, your business does not currently hold a certificate to do business as a telecommunications company in Florida, and is not the parent of another entity that does, then Florida law requires that both your business and the telecommunications company being acquired submit a joint application seeking approval of the transfer, or transfer of control, of the PSC certificate.


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