The U.S. Federal Communications Commission approved T-Mobile USA’s merger with MetroPCS Communications Inc. (NYSE: PCS) on March 12.

The deal, announced in October, is structured as a recapitalization, with MetroPCS declaring a reverse stock split, making a $1.5 billion cash payment to its shareholders, and acquiring all of T-Mobile’s stock by issuing T-Mobile’s parent, Deutsche Telekom (XETRA: DET) 74 percent of MetroPCS’ common stock.

In 2011, AT&T proposed to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion but the deal was stopped by regulators.

The combined company will retain the T-Mobile name and headquarters in Bellvue, Wa. Regulatory approval was expected for the merger.

The announcement was followed by several others in the wireless sector, including Sprint Nextel Corp.’s (NYSE: S) plan to acquire Clearwire and SoftBank Corp.’s (TSE: 9984) agreement to buy 70 percent of Sprint. 

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