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Will Phone Carrier Merger Impact You?

Poll QuestionThe possible Sprint and T-Mobile merger has us wondering what effect a new mega-carrier will have on its consumers and their beloved mobile phones.

The Center for Public Integrity examined the possible $32 billion purchase, which it noted would double Sprint’s market share but essentially eliminate T-Mobile. The combined company would become the second-largest carrier, with a 30% market share.

We’re not sure what we think about that.

Sprint’s poor reputation was validated when Consumer Reports ranked it as the worst wireless service provider in the United States in 2013.

At the time, Sprint released a statement that said its poor performance was, ironically, a result of efforts to improve service.

“We’ve asked customers during the past year to ‘pardon our dust’ as we build out and upgrade our network. We’re working to deliver an advanced wireless network that we believe over time will deliver unmatched speed and performance to our customers.”

(Now, that’s one slick PR move. It’s almost like answering the standard job interview question about weaknesses with a strength like, “I’m too dedicated to my job.”)

Then there’s T-Mobile, which has built itself into a quirky brand that the New York Times credited for turning the wireless industry “on its ear” early this year.

The Times pointed to T-Mobile’s moves to eliminate the traditional two-year contract and customer lock-ins, drop early termination fees and roaming and overage charges, offer data internationally for no extra charge, and unbundle the cost of a phone from the service price.

Heck, it even pays the early termination fees of competitor customers looking to jump ship.

And the Center for Public Integrity has said T-Mobile was “the one company that has put pressure on carriers to lower prices.”

T-Mobile has truly been a breath of fresh air.

We’re not optimistic this merger will have a positive impact on competition – both in the choices consumers have and the prices they pay for those choices.

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What do you think will be the end result of the merger?
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