Ever since AT&T announced its plans to buy T-Mobile, which is widely acknowledged as a low-price leader in the mobile industry, customers have wanted to know one thing: How could the deal affect my monthly bill?
Amid the industry discussion at the Senate Judiciary committee’s hearing on the AT&T, T-Mobile merger Wednesday, there weren’t any firm answers, but it is clear that pricing is going to be a major issue as the federal government considers the deal.
Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America, supports the deal, but said that he’d like to see pricing addressed as a condition for the merger, which would create the largest mobile company in the country with 130 million users.
Consumer groups, represented at the hearing by Public Knowledge’s Gigi Sohn, have already said that the merger will drive competition down and prices up.
And Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asked AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson point-blank if he could swear that prices would go down as a result of the merger.
As The Post’s Cecilia Kang reported from the hearing, Stephenson didn’t swear to that under oath, but did say that he believes prices will go down if the deal is approved.
When asked if T-Mobile customers who have month-to-month plans and who need new phones can expect to see T-Mobile’s pricing plans if the merger goes though, Stephenson said AT&T will “map that into our billing system.”
T-Mobile has already said that it will honor any plans customers entered into before a possible merger.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said Wednesday that the next merger hearing should specifically concentrate on consumer pricing.
What pricing concerns do you have about the T-Mobile, AT&T merger?