The third- and fourth-largest wireless U.S. service providers submitted their Public Interest Statement to the FCC in June, but the commission has now said it is pausing the informal 180-day "transaction shot clock", which is currently at day 56, following recent submissions related to a revised network engineering model. This would allow third-parties to review it, as well as allowing for a thorough review of staff at the FCC.
So, in essence, TMUS recently made a decision to offer up a bunch more material in support of the merger and the FCC needs more time to review it. Considering the complexity and potential importance of these newly-provided and expected models, it is appropriate to stop the informal 180-day clock to allow time for their review.
Bellevue-based T-Mobile and Sprint say consumers will benefit from a faster network even as their deal reduces from four to three the number of national competitors in the US wireless market.
T-Mobile recently disclosed that it intends to submit additional economic modeling in support of the Applications, beyond that strictly responsive to the various economic analyses in the Petitions to Deny.
Shares of T-Mobile were up 0.2% after hours, while Sprint shares were down 0.5%. The FCC called it "significantly larger and more complex than the engineering submissions already in the record".
This includes additional information about a business model and a "substantially revised network engineering model".
Consumer groups have argued that the merger could result in higher prices for wireless customers, one of the concerns the Justice Department is considering in its own review of the transaction.
T-Mobile said in a statement that it looked forward to working with the FCC in the review process.
An enlarged T-Mobile can quickly build a next-generation - so-called 5G - network giving more people access to speedy broadband, the companies told the FCC in June. The FCC says that it didn't get Build 9 until September 5th.