The FCC has granted its approval today for the agreed upon merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, a deal valued at around $1. 5 billion. According to TNW’s prior reporting, the combined entity will have a customer base of 42.5 million subscribers.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski praised the deal, saying that the larger US mobile market “continues to strengthen, moving toward robust competition and revitalized competitors.” The combination of two smaller providers into a larger entity could help the two survive and compete with larger, better-capitalized rivals.

Genachowski went on to state that the merger will “benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years.” Sprint, the third largest US carrier, has 56.4 million subscribers. The combined T-Mobile and MetroPCS firm will thus be the fourth largest US provider.

The FCC’s Jessica Rosenworcel directly opined that lower prices might result from the merger: “By allowing these two market disrupters to join forces and harmonize their spectrum holdings, today’s action should ultimately lead to more choices and lower prices for consumers.” Yes, please.

Image credit: Andrew Burton / Getty Images