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CenturyLink boosts cloud offerings with Tier 3 buy

(Reuters) - Telecommunications company CenturyLink Inc said on Tuesday it has bought cloud computing startup Tier 3 Inc as part of its acquisition strategy that allows it to compete with the likes of Amazon Inc, IBM Corp and Verizon Communications Inc's Terremark.

The company did not disclose financial details, but a source close to the matter said the price was around $200 million.

Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink, which acquired telecom company Qwest Communications in 2011, has been building its cloud services. It bought data center provider Savvis in July 2011 for $2.5 billion and in June of this year it purchased AppFog, a platform as a service company.

Cloud computing, which includes on-demand software, platform and infrastructure services, is cheaper and faster to deploy than traditional offerings which usually include more hardware.

According to research firm Gartner, Seattle-based Tier 3 is the No. 3 cloud provider after Amazon Web Services and CSC BizCloud.

Evercore Partners advised Tier 3 on the deal.

(Reporting by Nicola Leske in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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