T-Mobile USA-MetroPCS merger clears last hurdle | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 24.04.2013
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T-Mobile USA-MetroPCS merger clears last hurdle

Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary, T-mobile USA, has finally been given the go-ahead for its planned merger with MetroPCS in the US. The two companies hope to improve their competitiveness by pooling resources.

MetroPCS' shareholders on Wednesday approved the company's takeover by T-Mobile USA, thus removing the last obstacle to the merger between the fifth and fourth-largest cellphone carrier in the US.

Investors threw their weight behind the deal at an extraordinary shareholder meeting in Richardson, Texas, only weeks after T-Mobile USA had sweetened its original bid. The agreement will now give MetroPCS shareholders 26 percent of the combined company.

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The merger is intended to help the two firms combine the space allocated to each of them on the airwaves, with the new company being able to deliver faster wireless data downloads as a crucial competitive factor on a highly contested market.

Sigh of relief

"It's a big step for Deutsche Telekom," CEO Rene Obermann said in a statement in Bonn, Germany. Its subsidiary in the US had been suffering a steadily dwindling number of clients. The parent company in Bonn had originally intended to sell T-Mobile USA to its biggest local rival, At&T, but US regulators had prevented the deal.

Analysts said the merger with MetroPCS gave T-Mobile USA a genuine opportunity to return to sound business prospects. Deutsche Telekom's activities on the US market are a relict of the times when former CEO Ron Sommer was calling the shots and accepted huge debts to get a foot in the US market and stay there.

Ensuring a future for T-Mobile USA means good news for Deutsche Telekom's current boss, Rene Obermann, who's been working hard clean up the company as he's set to leave the firm by January at the latest.

hg/hc (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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