The DOJ said the merger was unlikely to hurt competition for a variety of reasons. For one thing, MetroPCS by itself hasn't been a national factor affecting pricing and other competitive factors because it doesn't operate on a national basis, the department said.
Like the rural carriers, the DOJ also saw a potential stronger rival to the biggest carriers. "Finally, the proposed combination of T-Mobile and MetroPCS may have a procompetitive impact in that it improves T-Mobile's scale and spectrum position," the Justice Department wrote.
The merger still needs approval by MetroPCS shareholders, who are scheduled to vote on April 12.