T-Mobile USA-MetroPCS tie-up to be completed next week

Deutsche Telekom said Wednesday that the merger of its subsidiary T-Mobile USA with rival wireless carrier MetroPCS was due to be completed next week after approval by MetroPCS shareholders.

The German telecommunications giant said in a written statement that it applauded the decision by MetroPCS shareholders to approve the agreement at their meeting in Texas on Wednesday.

The move "clears the path for a new, combined, larger and more powerful mobile services provider in the USA", the Deutsche Telekom statement said.

Earlier this month the German giant said it had submitted final, sweetened terms in the hope of winning shareholder backing for the merger.

The revised terms included Deutsche Telekom trimming $3.8 billion from the debt load carried into the union by T-Mobile.

T-Mobile USA's earlier plan to merge with MetroPCS ran into headwinds in March amid fresh complaints that the deal would shortchange shareholders of the smaller firm.

"This is a major step for Deutsche Telekom," Rene Obermann, chief executive of Deutsche Telekom Group said in the statement, adding: "The merger with MetroPCS is extremely important, since it enables us to be more aggressive in the USA."

Approval by MetroPCS shareholders was the last hurdle required for the merger and the deal is expected to close by May 1, the statement said.