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T-Mobile, MetroPCS Merger Clears One Hurdle

Bonn, Germany — The proposed merger between T-Mobile and regional no-contract carrier MetroPCS cleared one hurdle when the U.S. Department of Justice let expire a deadline for objecting under U.S. antitrust law, Dow Jones Newswire reported.

The development was revealed in a statement by T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom.

The merger must still get the approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the federal Committee on Foreign Investment, and MetroPCS shareholders, who will vote April 12 on the matter.

 Meantime, a group of 62 Democrat congressmen in the House of Representatives sent a letter to the FCC asking it to “consider requiring the companies to commit to preserving U.S. jobs as part of their merger agreement.”

 T-Mobile and MetroPCS announced their plans last October. Analysts said the merger would put both carriers, who have been losing subscribers, on a stronger footing to compete against larger rivals.

T-Mobile also said it needed MetroPCS’s spectrum to improve network performance and build out its 4G LTE network. “We will have significant LTE spectrum capacity in most major cities in the United States,” said T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere at the time. “I’m talking about being clearly superior to AT&T and Sprint.”

 Legere also pointed to economic efficiencies. “We are talking about $6 to $7 billion dollars in net present value synergies,” he said. “A full $5 to $6 billion of this is very clearly identifiable and achievable in simply having one network instead of two.”

  T-Mobile, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier by subscribers, has been struggling financially, and MetroPCS, the fifth largest carrier by subscribers, lost subscribers in 2012.