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Schoenfeld Joins Paulson to Back MetroPCS Deal (Update 1)

The MetroPCS merger appears necessary for T-Mobile in its iPhone ambition given the benefits of scale, a growing user base and up to $7 billion in cost savings.

On March 12, the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department approved the combination.

Currently, in an ad campaign running on broadcast networks, T-Mobile characterizes its iPhone plan as breaking from overly onerous plans offered by AT&T and Verizon.

T-Mobile's long-expected iPhone plan has already been projected in the forecasts of some MetroPCS shareholders who have opposed the proposed merger.

Those investors previously highlighted merger integration costs and the operational challenges of growing a network to handle increasing smartphone usage as added reason to cut back on the debt of the combined companies.

The merger's completion could help move the U.S. wireless market from what some characterized as a duopoly into a new era of price and service competition.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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