Level 3 Communications announced Monday morning that it will acquire Global Crossing Communications in a $2 billion stock deal.

The acquisition will create a network with service to 70 countries.

The companies say that the merger will “create a company with a unique capability to meet local, national and global customer requirements in a wide range of markets.”

Level 3 Communications is a content delivery company headquartered in Broomfield, Colo. Global Crossing is a global IP, Ethernet, data center and video solutions provider based in Florham Park, N.J. 

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. It is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.