FCC Pauses 180-Day Transaction Clock on T-Mobile and Sprint Merger

The Federal Communications Commission has informed T-Mobile and Sprint that it needs more time to review their proposed merger before granting them the final approval. So, it has stopped the 180-day transaction clock for this particular case as it needs to do a thorough staff and third-party review of all the documents submitted.

The FCC notes that on September 5, Sprint and T-Mobile submitted a “revised network engineering model” which is significantly larger and more complex.

The newly-provided network engineering model is significantly larger and more complex than the engineering submissions already in the record. It appears to incorporate new logic, methodologies, facts, and assumptions, on a subject central to the Applications-the transaction’s claimed network benefits. Accordingly, the Commission and third parties will require additional time to review it.

There was also a delay on T-Mobile’s part in submitting some important business documents which the FCC needs time to review. And the Un-carrier also plans on submitting more documents that will help in the merger of the companies.

Finally, 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. This new economic modeling will also require additional time for review. We also understand that these models may interact with or support one another in ways still unknown to the Commission and third parties . It will take time to evaluate, understand the relationships between, and prepare responses to these models. Moreover, those evaluations may also require additional information and explanation about the new modeling.

After multiple back and forth, T-Mobile and Sprint officially announced their merger plans back in April this year. The combined entity will become the second largest operator in the United States, with a customer base just shy of 100 million. Both companies are hopeful of closing the deal in the first half of 2019.

[Via FCC]