The Department of Justice and other federal agencies asked the FCC to "defer action" on its review of T-Mobile USA's merger with MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) so that they can finish a separate review of security issues surrounding the deal.
In a letter to the FCC, the DoJ said that it, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, are "reviewing this matter for any national security, law enforcement and public-safety issues." As a result of that review, the agencies are requesting the FCC not take any action on the deal until the review is complete. The agencies will then notify the FCC and request that the commission take action if necessary.
The FCC declined to comment. Such requests are standard when foreign-owned companies are acquiring U.S. firms (T-Mobile is owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom).
It's unclear whether the FCC will halt its 180-day "shot clock" for reviewing mergers as a result of the request. The FCC is currently on day 33 of the shot clock.
Under the T-Mobile deal, Deutsche Telekom will hold 74 percent of the merged business, which will be publicly traded, and pay MetroPCS shareholders $1.5 billion in cash. MetroPCS shareholders are expected to vote on the T-Mobile deal in February or March. The companies expect the deal to close by the middle of 2013.
- see this Phone Scoop article
- see this FCC filing
- see this FCC page
MetroPCS courted by Sprint, Dish and others prior to T-Mobile deal
MetroPCS says T-Mobile deal will allow it to expand its brand nationwide
T-Mobile sees more industry consolidation following MetroPCS deal
T-Mobile, MetroPCS ask FCC for deal approval
DT expects T-Mobile/MetroPCS deal to close in Q2
Article updated Nov. 28 with additional information from the FCC.