The Federal Communications Commission has signed off on the proposed merger between MetroPCS (NASDAQ: TMUS ) and T-Mobile.
The FCC order released today comes shortly after the Department of Justice also cleared the proposed deal after it passed antitrust scrutiny. Earlier today, MetroPCS said it sent a letter to shareholders urging them to approve the deal in an April 12 vote. The Committee on Foreign Investment also needs to sign off on the deal.
The FCC concluded that the "likely public interest benefits" would be greater than the potential "public interest harms" in select markets, while saying it is unlikely the deal would have generally negative effects on competition. Regulators acknowledged horizontal competitive issues in certain markets, but added that on a national level it would increase competition, particularly against the three largest wireless carriers.
MetroPCS and T-Mobile combining spectrum assets would play a key role in adding competition to the market. In a statement released today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said mobile broadband is a key growth driver for the U.S. economy, underlining the importance of a competitive market.