Just yesterday, we reported that MetroPCS and T-Mobile were talking about a merger, and that they would potentially meat to finalize the deal today. Well, it turns out the reports were right, as both companies have announced that they did indeed meet today, and came to an agreement on a T-Mobile buyout of MetroPCS.
To get the branding portion out of the way, don’t expect MetroPCS or T-Mobile stores and advertisements to suddenly start disappearing. Although the combined carrier will eventually be called just T-Mobile, for now both companies will be operating under their own brand for a time. As expected, they won’t be trying to combine their current networks, and customers of either won’t suddenly get a coverage boost. Instead, they are looking to VoLTE development to integrate the networks, and eventually end up with one unified company.
For consumers, this should end up being a good thing, as both MetroPCS and T-Mobile emphasize contract free and cheap smartphone plans. Not only that, they both also have unlimited data plans, something which most other carriers are trying to get rid of. The combination of cheap prices and better features in a bigger carrier should help other consumers too, if the larger carriers begin to worry about competition from the better priced T-Mobile conglomerate.
On the financial side, T-Mobile’s parent company has technically bought 74 percent of MetroPCS, while MetroPCS shareholders still own 26 percent of the company. In addition, the MetroPCS shareholders get $1.5 billion in cash, although the share price is falling at the time of this post.
Technically, this deal could still be blocked by government regulators like the AT&T/T-Mobile deal was, but it seems extremely unlikely due to the fact that MetroPCS and T-Mobile are two of the smallest US carriers. I, for one, see no reason that the deal shouldn’t go through, as it should help consumers find better off contract unlimited plans, as well as provide more competition for the rest of the big three. Provided the deal isn’t blocked, it is expected to close in early 2013, and that’s a good thing.