FCC Vets T-Mobile/MetroPCS Merger But Taken To Task On Methodology

T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS are another step closer to merging, with the FCC vetting the deal yesterday. According to Jeffrey Silva, senior policy director/Telecommunications, Media and Technology at Medley Global Advisors LLC, the commish “unconventionally did not clear T-Mobile/MetroPCS by commission vote, but instead took action through delegated authority by the chiefs of the agency’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and International Bureau.” This methodology reportedly came under some flak at yesterday’s Senate oversight hearing of the FCC, during which Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski why there was no full-commission vote, considering the high costs and the size of the deal. The chairman pointed out that other mergers have been approved in this way, and that no petitions to deny had been filed. When the deal closes – and it probably won’t by April, which was the desired timeframe – MetroPCS will own 26 percent of the combined company, and T-Mobile USA parent Deutsche Telekom will own the rest.

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