Sprint and T-Mobile will have to wait longer to merge

FCC stops the clock on T-Mobile-Sprint deal says it needs more time to evaluate the transaction

FCC pauses 180-day shot clock on its review of T-Mobile-Sprint merger

"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", writes David Lawrence, the director of the T-Mobile / Sprint Transaction Task Force, and Donald Stockdale, the chief of Wireless Telecommunication Bureau. The only stated reason is the submission of new material from TMUS that significantly alters the criteria by which the FCC will make its assessment, thus requiring more time.

Today we are pausing the Commission's informal 180-day transaction shot clock in this proceeding. While this could delay the merger, which was first announced in April, the markets are likely to have factored this in, as both companies have been indicating that the deal is unlikely to close before 2019. Although the Applicants had previously provided a network engineering model as backup for certain network claims, you explained that since that time "the model has been extended", and that the newly-provided model "completes" the prior work.

The two companies have complementary spectrum holdings that would help it rollout a robust 5G network, which would spur increased investment and deployment by its larger competitors, T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint executive chairman Marcelo Claure told senators in June. Moreover, the Applicants asserted that this is now the "engineering model on which they rely in support of this transaction". He says it appears to incorporate new logic, methodologies, facts, and assumptions, something that can't be reviewed quickly.

The FCC says the clock will remain paused until the companies submit all necessary information and the commission can then review that information. The commission said it only received information pertaining to Build 9 on September 5. It also needs to review a new business model referred to as "Build 9". Build 9 therefore requires further review. "The Price will bewitch whether to extend the time limit for reply comments after receiving the leisure of the Candidates' modeling submissions". T-Mo and Sprint said that the new engineering model was the one that they wanted to use in support of their merger.

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