Today T-Mobile's proposed acquisition of MetroPCS took another major step toward completion, as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission approved the deal between the two companies. The FCC announced the news in a document that was just released, explaining that after examining the likely effects that the merger would cause, it found that the deal is unlikely to result in any harm to competition or other public interest matters in the mobile space, adding that any harm that may come up in select markets is outweighed by the public interest benefits of the merger.
The FCC went on to say that the combination of T-Mobile and MetroPCS will allow the new company to use its combined spectrum to deploy the latest wireless services. The deal will also enhance T-Metro's ability to fight the top three U.S. carriers, the agency explained, by futher expanding the MetroPCS brand, improving service quality and rolling out a more robust network across the country.
In a statement on the decision, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that the agency's approval will help to strengthen the mobile industry here in the U.S. and move it toward a more robust competition. He added that the deal between T-Mobile and MetroPCS "will benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years."
With today's FCC approval, the merger of T-Mobile and MetroPCS is much closer to completion. Now that it's cleared its regulatory hurdles, the deal will need to be approved by MetroPCS shareholders, who will gather to weigh in on the merger at a special meeting on April 12. MetroPCS has urged its shareholders to vote in favor of the T-Mobile deal, but two hedge funds have voiced their disapproval of the deal, one of which is MetroPCS's largest shareholder. However, both T-Mobile are MetroPCS remain confident that the deal will close in the first half of 2013.