FCC May Approve T-Mobile/MetroPCS Merger Without Full Vote
According to a Communication Workers of America Union attorney, the Federal Communications Commission will approve the T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger without holding a vote. Monica Desai, attorney for the CWA says the deal will be approved “at the bureau level instead of the commission level.” David Kuat, analyst for Stifel Nicolaus & Co., says this development, if true is a positive signal for the deals prospects.
“I assume it’s good” for the deal’s prospects and shows the merger is “basically non-controversial” aside from the union’s concerns about employment, David Kaut, a Washington- based analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., said in an interview with Bloomberg. “No one thinks this is going to be blocked.”
That’s not to say everyone is in favor of this news as Debbie Goldman, telecommunications policy director for the CWA calls it “outrageous.” “It’s unprecedented that a deal that is this big and has raised controversies about its employment impacts would not be voted on by the full commission.” For its part, the CWA is concerned the deal would cut “a significant number of jobs,” but failed to supply a figure in their March 4th filing to the FCC. T-Mobile says it plans to continue hiring at call centers, “increasing the number of overall US positions,” but also failed to give specific numbers. T-Mobile laid off close to 100 employees last week in efforts to cut overlapping staff in anticipation of the deals close.
As anticipated, T-Mobile and MetroPCS will continue to run as two separate brands and businesses maintaining two separate networks of retailer stores and dealer franchisees for at least the next two years. The deal is expected to win full regulatory support in the hopes of boosting T-Mobile’s position in the market as regulators begin to look at AT&T and Verizon as having too much power.