Almost one year ago, in May of 2012, it was revealed that T-Mobile and MetroPCS were in talks to form a merger, shortly after a merger between T-Mobile and AT&T fell through. It took roughly five months for both companies to sign off on the deal, and since October, we’ve been waiting to hear if the government will approve the two companies joining forces in the US, or if they will be shot down. Today, both the FCC and Depart of Justice have approved T-Mobile and MetroPCS’ merger.
In a public statement on the FCC’s website, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says that, “With today’s approval, America’s mobile market continues to strengthen, moving toward robust competition and revitalized competitors. Today’s action will benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years.”
The Department of Justice has issued a similar statement announcing the end of their investigation on the merger, saying that, “The Antitrust Division has determined that the combination of T-Mobile and MetroPCS is unlikely to harm consumers or substantially lessen competition.”
At this point, the only thing holding the two companies back is a MetroPCS stockholder’s vote on the merger, set to be held April 12th. MetroPCS is urging stockholders to support the merger, laying out the advantages of the merger in a special letter to stockholders hosted on their investor relations website.
Should the merger finally take place sometime this year, T-Mobile will use MetroPCS’ current CDMA spectrum for LTE, giving T-Mobile a wide array of GSM, HSPA+ and LTE spectrum to compete with.