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MONROE, La. (AP) _ CenturyTel Inc. announced Monday that it has completed its acquistion of about 300,000 telephone access lines in Alabama from Verizon Inc.

CenturyTel Inc. said in October that it would pay nearly $2.2 billion in cash for Verizon lines in Alabama and Missouri.

The company said it expects to conclude the Missouri acquisition in the third quarter of 2002. The acquisition expands the Monroe-based company's reach to 22 states.

Shares of CenturyTel were down $1.07, or 3.6 percent, to close at $28.43 in trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Verizon were down $1.91, or 4.7 percent, to close at $38.24.