T-Mobile and MetroPCS Merger Approved By FCC, DOJ
Today the FCC added its blessing to the planned T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Communications merger. The FCC’s approval was the last Federal regulatory hurdle the companies had to clear; the DOJ last week let an anti-trust waiting period lapse without action, making way for that agency’s formal statement of approval earlier today.
At the time the merger was announced, T-Mobile stated its goal to become the leading value carrier in the U.S., and pointed to how the combined company would benefit in terms of both scale and wireless spectrum.
The FCC agrees. In its decision, the agency says, “We find that the proposed transaction is not likely to result generally in competitive or other public interest harms, and, to the extent that it may result in public interest harms in selected markets, we find that the likely public interest benefits are greater.”
The Department of Justice’s statement echoes those sentiments, noting in similar language that, “After a thorough review of the proposed transaction, the Antitrust Division has determined that the combination of T-Mobile and MetroPCS is unlikely to harm consumers or substantially lessen competition and has closed its investigation.”
The DOJ goes on to agree with T-Mobile initial position, saying “the proposed combination of T-Mobile and MetroPCS may have a procompetitive impact in that it improves T-Mobile’s scale and spectrum position, particularly since MetroPCS’s spectrum holdings are compatible with T-Mobile’s existing network.”
With the regulatory agencies on board, now begins the work of combining the companies. Reports indicate this may begin by mid-April, when all parties involved, including T-Mobile USA parent Deutsche Telekom, are next expected to meet.