(AP) T-Mobile USA has closed its deal to acquire smaller rival MetroPCS. The combined company, called T-Mobile US, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday under the ticker symbol “TMUS.”
T-Mobile, the country’s fourth-largest cellphone carrier, is adding 9 million MetroPCS customers to its own 34 million. The combined company still lags No. 3 Sprint Nextel in size.
Under terms of the deal, MetroPCS shareholders are getting $4.08 per share in cash, or $1.5 billion. They’re also getting half a share of the new company for each MetroPCS share, resulting in a 26 percent ownership stake.
No immediate changes are expected for customers of either company. However, T-Mobile plans to shut down MetroPCS’s network over two years, which means MetroPCS phones will eventually stop working. T-Mobile will use the space freed up on the airwaves to boost its own coverage and data speeds.
MBJ wrote about T-Mobile’s proposed merger with AT&T in 2011. The plan was challenged by the FCC, the White House and an anti-trust congressional committee and ultimately failed.