The United States Federal Communications Commission today informed T-Mobile and Sprint [PDF] that it needs more time to review the proposed merger between the two companies before making a final decision on approval.
According to the FCC, it is pausing the informal 180-day transaction clock to allow for “thorough staff and third-party review” of newly submitted and anticipated business documents.
Sprint and T-Mobile on September 5 submitted a revised network engineering model that’s “significantly larger and more complex,” which the FCC needs to look over. The two companies also did not provide the FCC with documentation on a “Build 9” business model until September 5, so that’s also something the FCC needs to review, and T-Mobile is also planning to offer up additional economic modeling documents.
The FCC says that the 180-day clock will remain stopped until T-Mobile and Sprint have completed the record “on which they intend to rely” and a reasonable amount of time has passed to allow the FCC and third-parties to look over the documentation.
Sprint and T-Mobile officially reached a merger agreement back in late April, so the original 180-day review period was set to end in October. The FCC aims to complete applications for license transfers relating to complex mergers within an informal 180 day period, but warns that some application review periods can exceed 180 days.
If the T-Mobile and Sprint merger is ultimately approved by regulators, two of the four major carriers in the United States will combine into one single entity. T-Mobile and Sprint combined will have nearly 100 million customers, putting it second only to Verizon.
The combined company will be named T-Mobile and current T-Mobile CEO John Legere will serve as the Chief Executive Officer. Sprint and T-Mobile have previously said they’re hoping to close the deal in the first half of 2019.