FCC Gives Thumbs-Up to T-Mobile, MetroPCS Deal

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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q4 2012 or here for the biggest M&A during that time in the service provider-BSS/OSS spaces.**

The FCC on Tuesday approved the pending merger of T-Mobile USA Inc. and MetroPCS Communications Inc. with no significant conditions, about a week after the deal got Justice Department clearance.

The fourth- and fifth-largest wireless providers, respectively, in the United States, are eager to join forces as they face competition from Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint Nextel. The deal calls for T-Mobile USA's parent company, Germany's Deutsche Telekom, to own 74 percent of the combined company, while MetroPCS shareholders lay claim to the remainder.

Now the operators face one last hurdle: approval from the largest MetroPCS stock owners. At least one says the deal would put MetroPCS too far in debt and give Deutsche Telekom a better deal than MetroPCS would get. A shareholder vote is scheduled for April 12.

The T-Mobile-MetroPCS transaction comes after AT&T last year failed to secure regulatory approval for a purchase of T-Mobile.

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