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We're sure that MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA executives were on pins and needles wondering whether or not their proposed merger would clear all the regulatory hurdles. While they're not officially free and clear, the Department of Justice has given a strong hint that the carrier union will go through. The government branch just let the mandatory waiting period expire without raising any objections; if it had thought there were serious antitrust issues, it would have piped up by now. Before anyone pops the champagne corks, though, there's still a number of formalities -- the Committee on Foreign Investment, the FCC and the companies' shareholders still need to sign off on the deal, which could take weeks or longer. Considering the troubles T-Mobile had the last time it tried a merger, though, waiting will seem like a walk in the park.

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MetroPCS Announces Expiration of HSR Waiting Period For Proposed Combination with T-Mobile USA

DALLAS, March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE: PCS; "MetroPCS") today announced that the required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in connection with the Company's proposed combination with T-Mobile USA, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom (XETRA: DTE; "Deutsche Telekom"), has expired. The proposed combination remains subject to MetroPCS stockholder approval, as well as certain other regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. MetroPCS expects the proposed combination with T-Mobile to be completed shortly following the meeting of stockholders.

A Special Meeting of MetroPCS stockholders to vote on matters relating to the proposed combination of MetroPCS with T-Mobile has been scheduled for April 12, 2013. MetroPCS stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 11, 2013 are entitled to vote at the Special Meeting.

The MetroPCS board unanimously recommends that stockholders vote their shares FOR all of the proposals relating to the proposed combination with T-Mobile. The failure to vote or an abstention has the same effect as a vote against the proposed combination. If stockholders vote against the proposed combination, there is no assurance that MetroPCS will be able to deliver the same or better stockholder value.

Stockholders who have questions or need assistance voting their shares should contact the Company's proxy solicitor, MacKenzie Partners, Inc. toll-free at (800) 322-2885 or call collect at (212) 929-5500.

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DOJ lets waiting period expire on T-Mobile / MetroPCS merger, hints it's good to go