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T-Mobile, MetroPCS merger clears DOJ, but more hurdles ahead

After a mandated waiting period of 30 days expired, T-Mobile and MetroPCS to merge without intervening.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

The U.S. Department of Justice has allowed a 30 day period of waiting to expire, meaning the T-Mobile—MetroPCS can go ahead without the feds knocking on each of their doors. 

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 16.59.18
(Credit: T-Mobile USA)

In a statement today, T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom said it had reached an "important staging post" in the approval process of merging the two companies. By allowing the waiting period to go without any intervention, something that is mandated by U.S. antitrust laws, the deal can go ahead without the judicial authorities blocking the move.

During the attempted AT&T—T-Mobile merger two years ago, the DOJ intervened and sued to prevent the merger from going ahead, citing reasons that the two companies would block competition in the country's cellular space.

However, just because it past the DOJ's scrutiny doesn't mean the deal will go ahead just yet. 

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also has to approve the deal between the fourth and fifth largest cellular giants in the country. Also, the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) must give its approval because Deutsche Telekom is based in Germany. And to add yet another hurdle to the mix, MetroPCS shareholders also have to approve the deal, which is set to be voted upon on April 12.

In the statement, MetroPCS said it "expects the proposed combination with T-Mobile to be completed shortly following the meeting of stockholders. Earlier statements said the deal should complete by the second quarter of 2012.

Once the deal completes, T-Mobile is hoping to migrate all MetroPCS customers over to the network by 2015.

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