What consumers think about AT&T and T-Mobile merging (video)

If the deal goes through, some 42 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers would use the combined company for cell phone service. CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports on how some San Franciscans are reacting.

It will take up to a year before we know for sure whether or not AT&T will be allowed to acquire T-Mobile . But people are already starting to speculate about what this means for consumers , particularly the ones currently on T-Mobile's service.

To put together our related story for CBS News, we wanted to hear what everyday cell phone users in San Francisco had to say. So Jared, our cameraman and editor, and I headed downtown to the corner of Market and Third streets. It was a very convenient destination since the T-Mobile and AT&T stores are right across the street from each other!

We stopped people at random to ask them questions about this proposed deal and to hear their thoughts on how it might impact them. Understandably, not many people knew specifics since the news came out fewer than 24 hours ago. But most reactions were instantly negative. People were leery of a potential monopoly and limited choices, since there would only be three major cell phone providers left: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. They also thought monthly plan prices could go up since there would be less competition to force them lower. The only bits of positivity were over potentially better service.

Since there will be months of waiting, a lot of what could happen is, again, speculation. My CNET News colleagues have thoroughly analyzed this announcement and all potential ramifications. Please turn to their columns for more in depth coverage.

About the author

Kara Tsuboi has covered technology news for CNET and CBS Interactive for nearly seven years. From cutting edge robotics at NASA to the hottest TVs at CES to Apple events in San Francisco, Kara has reported on it all. In addition to daily news, twice every week her "Tech Minutes" are broadcast to CBS TV stations across the country.

 

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