The US Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday told Sprint and T-Mobile it will take more time than first expected to review a proposed merger of the telecommunications firms. Seems fair enough. "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", concludes the letter.
The regulatory agency said in a letter that it's hitting pause on the informal, 180-day "transaction shot clock" so it can review newly-submitted materials from the companies.
Consumer groups have argued that the merger could result in higher prices for wireless customers, one of the concerns the Justice Department is considering in its own review of the transaction. Similarly, a business model titled "Build 9" that was also submitted September 5 needs further review, the FCC said.
A business model detailing how the combined firm would provide "financial basis for the projected new network buildup" wasn't submitted until September 5. "The additional review time is common to FCC merger reviews and we recently supplied a large amount of data to the FCC that they want sufficient time to assess", the companies said in a statement.
Further, in an August 29, 2018 ex parte meeting, T-Mobile executives Mike Sievert and Peter Ewens described T-Mobile's reliance on a business model, titled "Build 9, " which apparently provides the financial basis for the projected new network buildout. This new economic modeling will also require additional time for review. Act Ii Management Lp who had been investing in T Mobile Us Inc for a number of months, seems to be bullish on the $55.87 billion market cap company.
T-Mobile and Sprint responded, saying they understood the need to stop the clock.