FCC approves MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA merger

13 March 2013 |

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the proposed merger between MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA.

The approval allows the transfer of spectrum licences between the two carriers to the new company without any conditions, such as forced sale of assets.

The deal was confirmed in October 2012 and has since faced regulatory delays.

The last remaining obstacle to the deal is a shareholder vote on April 12, which could prove difficult given reports that two of the largest shareholders have publicly criticised the merger.

In February, major shareholder P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP, which holds 7.5 million MetroPCS shares, said it will vote against the deal because of a perceived low valuation and the level of debt that comes with any potential tie-up.

Paulson & Co, which holds an 8.7% stake in the company, has also hit out at the deal, claiming “it may be more prudent for PCS to remain independent and explore other higher value alternatives”.

According to Reuters, under the terms of the deal, Deutsche Telekom would have a 74% stake in the combined company, while MetroPCS would declare a one-for-two reverse stock split and pay $1.5 billion in cash to its shareholders.