FCC Says ‘Yay’ To T-Mobile Merger With MetroPCS, Approval Order Issued

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Hot on the heels of reports that the FCC would approve the T-Mobile merger at the bureau level and not a full vote — comes exactly that result. The flash just hit Bloomberg News, leaving any remaining obstacles to the merger to come from the MetroPCS shareholder meeting in April.

From the FCC finding:

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.

Read the full FCC finding at the links below:

FCC PDF, Web Version


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  • Deon Davis

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Go T-mo!

  • Not really feeling this merger. -_-

    • xmiro

      actually in some places it would benefit T-Mobile. Here around Fort Lauderdale when you look on RootMetrics app, Metropcs has the best signal (all green).
      Metro have these small cells deployed all over the place that would improve coverage immensely

  • Richard Yarrell

    Great job now let’s get busy. 2013 has so much to accomplish.

    • squiddy20

      2013 is a date, more specifically, a year. It can’t “accomplish” anything. -_-

      • eanfoso

        Jerk, you know exactly what he meant

        • Richard Yarrell

          Typical dopey squiddy he is exactly what he’s always been. Meanwhile off to unpacked event sitting here three blocks from Radio City Music Hall right now. Samsung starting to set up shop as a write this from my Galaxy Note 2. Got much important things to focus on these next three days. Life is real good.

        • Oliver Jackson

          Well I’m here in Miami Richard and I will be watching via online as will everyone else here even some iPhone fanboys..LOL.

        • Richard Yarrell

          Can’t blame you. It’s a great watch even if you don’t like Samsung as far as product purchases. They put on an excellent unpacked show every year.

      • g2a5b0e

        Stop tryna bring drama where it is completely unneeded. Take the high road.

        • Myxlplik

          What does “tyrna” mean?

        • Jtothada

          I don’t know what the fuck “tyrna” means because that’s not how he spelled it

        • Dikinabox

          What does TRYNA mean? Is that the way R. Kelly spells “China?”

        • That guy that sides with you.


        • J-Hop2o6

          Shortened version of “Trying To”.

        • g2a5b0e

          It’s “tryna”, not “tyrna” & it’s my own little contraction for “trying to”. I apologize that that went over your head.

        • Myxlplik

          Apology accepted. I apologize for misspelling your own little word.

  • niceman


  • drivethruboy168

    1 more step closer!

  • I’m happy. Don’t see anything bad about it from my standpoint.

  • Baxter DeBerry

    heck yes!!, hopefully after all said and done my town will get reframed.. soon

  • squiggleslash

    Oh, sh-t.

    Well, at least they didn’t require the combined entity shed spectrum where they have the same type in a market. That’s a first.

    • SouthernBlackNerd

      Tried to tell you they wouldn’t. Metro was not a national carrier like Alltel and Tmo+Metro is still in 4th place.

      • John

        Tmo+metro would still be in 4th place with about 42 million subscribers. Sprint is 3rd with 56 million subscribers.

        • SouthernBlackNerd

          Thanks for catching that. mistake on my part. Not sure why I put third place.

  • GinaDee

    Metro PCS management are big believers in offshore customer service. It’s well documented.

    T-Mobile has already been dabbing with terrible offshore CS for a while now. Hopefully the Metro team doesn’t encourage more offshore support in order to attain additional synergies.

    My other concern is howT-Mobile plans to dismantle so much of Metro’s network over the next year. Metro currently has 3G in places T-Mobile still operates a GPRS network. Just drive the 15FWY north in SoCal from San Bernardino to Las Vegas and you’ll see what I mean

    • Mike

      Gina, T-Mobile has pledged to have ALL 37,000 Towers refarmed to HSPA 42 by end of July. It is part of their Challenger Business Strategy. Goodbye America’s Largest 2G!! Hehe.

      • Nick

        Certainly hope that would be true. They have Edge everywhere I got outside the area I live in.

        • TBN27

          And didn’t they say that they will keep te edge networke because they are some how making money from it away from customers? If anything they will have to cover EDGE with HSPA+ to stay competitive. Also hope that they can eventually introduce service to states where they don’t cover we’ll or at all….like Vermont.

        • T-Mobile Afficianado

          Right, they are keeping EDGE. Areas that are EDGE only now, will stay that way forever. The only areas getting 1900 HSPA and LTE are the ones that are already AWS HSPA. If you don’t have 3g now, you simply aren’t getting it, and you should switch to a carrier that does offer it where you are.

        • TBN27

          They will upgrade the entire network. They will have to sooner or later. They will just put HSPA+ over it. Though EDGE will stay for a while.

        • Nick

          They hinted at refarming the 2G spectrum, so this way those areas that have been using EDGE for years, if you have the proper phone, you should experience, 4G connectivity.


      • SouthernBlackNerd

        From my understanding, Tmobile has more than 37,000 towers and the towers that are getting modernized via Challenger Strategy already have 4G broadcasting on AWS

        Also Tmobile does not have enough Spectrum in the PCS block to deploy nationwide HSPA42.

      • eanfoso

        Where on earth did you hear that?! Citation? :)

      • T-Mobile Edge Bites

        No, they are only updating the towers that are already 3g to be on 1900 and then LTE. The places that are EDGE will remain on EDGE. So sorry!!

      • It’s funny how your statement has now made me understand what their refarming plans actually meant. I thought it was just something to give iPhone users 4G service. But now I finally get it, I don’t know how I’ve missed this for so long. Excuse my blonde moment, lol

      • bugmenaught

        Stop saying this. T-Mobile has a lot more than 37,000 towers – EDGE is not going away by summer.

  • TyRetr0


  • M42

    MetroPC is only in a few markets so a competitor is not really being eliminated. All it’s going to do is give TM a boost in their customer base, provided the customers choose to stay.

    • Jose Hernandez

      It will also give them a boost on spectrum needed to make their LTE network better.

    • Dion Mac

      You have not done your homework.

  • chantie

    This is Great news. Super excited!!

  • edfranco1

    Great News for us… Now we will have more spectrum and get more power out in my LA suburb

    • Whitney

      More spectrum for neighborhood. My area is covered by Metro PCS

  • Aurizen

    I like it now Tmobile will get better services, more towers, good bye to metro. Now whats the next procedure?

  • James

    The only reason T-Mobile wants MetroPcs is because of the aws lte spructrum they have a lot of and the customers. The two companies don’t work together, there are not Compatible (T-Mobile is GSM and MetroPCs is CDMA). Maybe T-Mobile will change the radios on MetroPCs towers or something but that’s is way too expensive. Correct me if I am wrong. Either way I am happy with the merger :)

    • superg05

      t Mobile is going to start migrating customers on MetroPCS is Band to T Mobile band whenever they replace devices it will be phones that work on T Mobile’s network not metros in the still have Metro rate plans

      • taron19119

        No by 2015 metro pcs network well be turn into a gsm network and metro well stay a separate brain

        • Dion Mac

          No, Jeremy is correct. T-Mobile will slowly migrate Metro customer to their network but it will still be with Metro’s plans and branding. T-Mobile will likely sell/lease off any overlapping towers and possibly convert other ones where T-Mo doesn’t have coverage.

          P.S. Spell checking is a virtue

  • Dion Mac

    So the DOJ doesn’t have to approve it?

    • taron19119

      They did approve it

      • Dion Mac

        oh ok. Didn’t know that

  • TMoFan

    This definitely makes more sense than selling the company to att bolstering a duopoly. This also gives DT a chance to gracefully exit by selling shares if this new direction doesn’t work out. Either way Tmo is here to stay in the long term.

  • sushimane

    what’s next after this? im happy that the fcc and the doj approve this but what’s next?

    • If only that information was in the post! Oh wait… :-)

  • Mirad77

    Now let’s hope Metro’s board give a thumbs up so Tmo can get it going. Bring on the spectrum…

  • T-Fumble

    Good luck keeping those Metro customers on board during this merger. I hope they find a way to smoothly combine or covert Metro’s network

  • MatthewMurawski

    1 step closer to beating Sprint and taking 3rd place. Seriously though, Sprint sucks…