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Updated: T-Mobile has officially confirmed the merger, which is worth $1.5 billion. Below, find the original story, as well as a video statement from CEO John Legere.

Together, T-Mobile and MetroPCS now have 42.5 million subscribers and project $24.8 billion in revenue for 2012.

Original story: Deutsche Telekom is one step closer to acquiring MetroPCS, which it will combine with its ailing U.S. arm, T-Mobile, although the merger may end up being somewhat unusual.

Both Deutsche Telekom’s and MetroPCS’s boards have approved the deal, a source in the know tells the Wall Street Journal. Yesterday, DT admitted that that it was in talks with MetroPCS┬ábut made it clear nothing was finalized yet.

The deal could help fourth-place U.S. carrier T-Mobile to strengthen its network and stem the massive tide of subscriber losses. It could also hurt No. 3 carrier Sprint, which is pouring money into upgrading its network to LTE.

As the WSJ tells it, the combined company will still go by the “T-Mobile” name and will be led by T-Mobile chief executive John Legere (who nabbed the role a few weeks ago). The deal will be a reverse merger, the source says, which means MetroPCS will basically eat up T-Mobile and give it a publicly traded stock (bypassing the typical IPO process for private companies). DT will own around 75 percent of the new firm, but since the T-Mobile stock will be public, it could also easily sell it off over time.

According to the WSJ, DT will hold $15 billion of the combined firm’s debt and MetroPCS shareholders will receive $4 per share, or about $1.5 billion in cash.