Will Sprint-T-Mobile combo hurt consumers?

National / World
Sprint T-Mobile Deal_1525107278499

FILE- In this April 27, 2010 file photo, a woman using a cell phone walks past T-Mobile and Sprint stores in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Consumer advocacy groups are worried that T-Mobile’s bid for Sprint will likely lead to higher cellphone plans because there’s less competition.

The watchdog group Common Cause says low-income consumers seeking more affordable services will be particularly hurt.

But Mark Lowenstein, a mobile-industry consultant, says the move shouldn’t be seen as a consolidation in the wireless industry. Rather, he says, it’s a new industry structure, with wireless “competing in the larger broadband space.”

The deal announced Sunday would combine the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless companies and bulk them up to a similar size to Verizon and AT&T, the industry giants.

Shares of T-Mobile fell 4 percent to $61.87 in morning trading Monday. Sprint shares fell 17 percent to $5.65.

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