If you have been listening to the Metro PCS/T-Mobile merger news, than you will want to pay close attention to this. The FCC has just approved the merger of the two cellular network providers, and according to TmoNews, the only thing left on the agenda before officially merging is a Metro PCS shareholders meeting which will take place in April. Talking with Mr. TmoNews himself, David Beren, I was given this explanation of the merger, as it was confusing to me at first, “It’s a reverse merger, Metro is really buying T-Mobile, but [it is] using the T-Mobile name…” Also, here is a cutout from the FCC’s approval order:
Based on the record before us and our review of the competitive effects of the proposed transaction, we find that approval of the transaction will serve the public interest. In considering the applications before us, we evaluate the likely competitive effects of the proposed transaction at both the local and national levels. The proposed transaction raises horizontal competition issues because it would result in the combination of overlapping mobile wireless coverage and services in various markets, as well as the transfer of customers of two current competitors to the newly combined entity, referred to by the Applicants as “Newco.”2 On these issues, we find that the transaction is not likely to result generally in competitive or other public interest harms. In addition, to the extent there may be some possible competitive harms in selected geographic areas, we find that these possible competitive harms are outweighed by certain public interest benefits likely to result from the proposed transaction. Such benefits include the facilitation of Long Term Evolution (“LTE”) deployment, the expansion of the MetroPCS brand into new geographical markets, the development of a more robust, national network, improved quality of service, and the strengthening of the fourth largest nationwide service provider’s ability to compete in the mobile broadband services market. In summary, we find that any potential public interest harms would be outweighed by the resulting public interest benefits and we conclude that, on balance, the transaction is in the public interest. Accordingly, we approve it for the reasons discussed below.
If you are interested, it can be read in full here in PDF format: FCC.
What do you think? Glad to see this go through? Any of you against it? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.