As predicted earlier today, the Federal Communications Commission has confirmed that it has approved the proposed merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS.
Beyond the official green light, the FCC hasn't actually offered many more details or reflections, with the exception of this short statement from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:
With today’s approval, America’s mobile market continues to strengthen, moving toward robust competition and revitalized competitors. We are seeing billions more in network investment, while the courts have upheld key FCC decisions to accelerate broadband build-out, promote competition, and benefit consumers, including our broadband data roaming and pole attachment rules. 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.
Mobile broadband is a key engine of economic growth, with U.S. annual wireless capital investment up
40% over the last four years, the largest increase in the world, and few sectors having more potential to
create jobs. In this fast-moving space, of course challenges remain, including the need to unleash even
more spectrum for mobile broadband and continuing to promote competition and protect consumers. The Commission will stay focused on these vital goals.
To recall, word broke last October that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA's parent company, was in talks to acquire MetroPCS and merge it with the German telecommuncations company's U.S. arm.
T-Mobile USA is the fourth largest mobile provider in the United States, followed by MetroPCS.
But MetroPCS offers T-Mobile entry into many more smaller markets nationwide, giving it a firmer footing and new demographics to compete against Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint.
The FCC's decision also contrasts with the last major merger proposal involving T-Mobile. In 2011, AT&T announced that it wanted to acquire T-Mobile USA to create the nation's largest wireless service provider.
However, that bid was later blocked by the U.S. Department of Justice.
But the DOJ seems fine with the T-Mobile/MetroPCS deal considering that the federal agency let the mandated 30-day waiting period expire earlier this month.