MetroPCS shareholders seek to block T-Mobile merger with lawsuit

Who really comes out on top in this deal?

Reports of T-Mobile's merger with MetroPCS surfaced at the beginning of October, and the deal was made official the following day.

The deal would see T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, acquire 74 percent of MetroPCS, while the prepaid carrier's shareholders would retain 26 percent and receive $1.5 billion.

Apparently that's a bunch of sour grapes for MetroPCS's shareholders, who on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in order to block the acquisition.

According to the shareholders, the MetroPCS board of directors, which approved the deal with Deutsche Telekom, is "serving its own financial interests."

A dirty deal?

The shareholders are suing T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom, plus MetroPCS's board of directors and CEO; in other words, everyone involved.

"The process leading to the proposed acquisition was tainted by conflicts, tilted towards T-Mobile and driven entirely by the board and company management, who together control 15.4 percent of PCS' outstanding stock and seek liquidity for their illiquid holdings," reads the suit.

According to TmoNews, the source of the original report on the lawsuit, the shareholders allege that the structure of the deal discouraged other bids, thereby ensuring that MetroPCS would go to Deutsche Telekom.

The suit claims that those involved are guilty of breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and unjust enrichment, according to the site.

Who wins?

There may be something to the shareholders' claims, as at least one other carrier, Sprint, had intentions to offer a counter-bid.

But Sprint announced last Thursday that it would hold off until it could get more details about Deutsche Telekom's offer to MetroPCS.

When the merger was made official, Deutsche Telekom released a statement claiming that the deal would allow it to "deliver an enhanced customer experience through a wider selection of affordable products and services, deeper network coverage, and a clear-cut technology path to one LTE network."

Meanwhile, T-Mobile CEO John Legere responded to shareholders' complaints by saying that the deal is "about driving growth" and is necessary if T-Mobile is to compete with bigger carriers like Verizon.

If Deutsche Telekom claims that customers will benefit from the MetroPCS merger, T-Mobile's CEO claims that T-Mobile will benefit, and MetroPCS's shareholders claim the carrier's board of directors will benefit, one has to wonder who will actually come out on top if the deal goes through.

The FCC and DOJ still have to approve the merger, so the whole affair may yet be stopped in its tracks.

Via Slashgear, TmoNews

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.