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15 September 2018, 01:50 | Megan Pierce
FCC pauses 180-day shot clock on its review of T-Mobile-Sprint merger
The third- and fourth-largest wireless USA service providers submitted their Public Interest Statement to the FCC in June, but the commission has now said it is pausing the informal 180-day "transaction shot clock", which is currently at day 56, following recent submissions related to a revised network engineering model. First, on September 5, 2018, the Applicants submitted a substantially revised network engineering model. The FCC received both on September 5.
Shares of T-Mobile were up 0.2% after hours, while Sprint shares were down 0.5%. This new economic modeling will also require additional time for review. The combined company has claimed, among other things, that it will have an edge over its competitors as it builds out a 5G network. 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.
In a letter to the two telecom companies, David Lawrence, head of the FCC task force reviewing the merger, noted the FCC only recently received documents that explain the modeling T-Mobile and Sprint are relying on to bolster their case.
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"The clock will remain stopped until the applicants have completed the record on which they intend to rely and a reasonable period of time has passed for staff and third-party review", the FCC said in a letter to officials at T-Mobile and Sprint which was posted on the agency's website.
The merger is also under review by the US Department of Justice. "The Price will bewitch whether to extend the time limit for reply comments after receiving the leisure of the Candidates' modeling submissions". "We are confident that this transaction is pro-competitive, good for the country and good for American consumers".
Second, the FCC requires more time to review "Build 9", a business model described by T-Mobile execs Mike Sievert and Peter Ewens in a meeting on August 29th.
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