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T-Mobile USA on verge of closing deal to acquire rival carrier MetroPCS

NEW YORK -- T-Mobile USA, the country's fourth-largest cellphone carrier, is set to complete its acquisition of MetroPCS after the stock market closes on Tuesday.

T-Mobile is adding 9 million MetroPCS customers to its own 34 million. The combined company will stall lag No. 3 Sprint Nextel Corp. in size.

No immediate changes are expected for customers of either company. However, T-Mobile plans to shut down MetroPCS's network over two years, which means MetroPCS phones will eventually stop working. T-Mobile will use the space freed up on the airwaves to boost its own coverage and data speeds.

T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, will gain its own U.S. stock listing by merging with Dallas-based MetroPCS Communications Inc., which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The new ticker symbol will be “TMUS.”

With the closing, MetroPCS shareholders are getting US$4.08 per share in cash, or US$1.5 billion in aggregate. They're also getting half a share of the new company for each MetroPCS share, resulting in a 26 percent ownership stake. The rest will be owned by Deutsche Telekom.

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