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UPDATE 1-Minnesota sues CenturyLink alleging it overcharges customers

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NEW YORK, July 12 (Reuters) - Minnesota filed a lawsuit against telecommunications provider CenturyLink Inc alleging the company charged customers more than they agreed to pay for internet and cable services, the state's Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a statement, sending its shares down on Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleges the company often refused to honor the lower prices customers had been quoted by sales agents.

CenturyLink shares fell 2.4 percent to $22.69 in afternoon trading. The company is in the process of acquiring Level 3 Communications Inc for about $24 billion. Level 3 shares were down 1.4 percent to $57.63.

CenturyLink said in an emailed statement to Reuters that it has been cooperating with Swanson's office and has provided all information that was requested. "We take these allegations seriously and will review and respond in due course," it said.

A separate class-action lawsuit against CenturyLink alleges it signed up customers for services they did not request. Moody's said in a research note last month that any settlement amount is likely to be limited but potentially credit negative. (Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Phil Berlowitz)