How the Sprint/T-Mobile Merger Could Affect Your Wallet

Last year, T-Mobile and Sprint told everyone they want to get married. Now, 10 attorneys general are screaming, 'I object.' And slapping them with a big lawsuit to block the deal. They say it’s heartbreak waiting to happen — at least for consumers and their finances. Here’s what a big telecomm merger could mean for your wallet.

You’ll get fewer choices. Right now, there are four big phone carriers, including Verizon and AT&T. If T-Mobile and Sprint merge, we only get three. Generally, less competition = higher prices. Meaning your phone bill could eventually go up. And your opportunities to comparison-shop will go down.

Carriers might stop working so hard to win your business. More competition usually means companies have to offer incentives to convince you to buy their services. Less competition means those incentives might start disappearing. On the chopping block: unlimited data plans. Guess we’re back to fighting with the fam over who used all the data this month.

theSkimm: Sprint and T-Mobile say their merger will actually be a good thing. They promise not to raise rates for three years and to expand service to poor and rural areas. Critics still aren’t convinced this works out for anyone’s finances in the long run. TBD on what happens next...but you can find ways to lower your bill now. Like by turning on auto-pay or adding a line for a friend (who pays her part) to your plan. While adding more services to your bill might sound backwards, it can lower the per-line cost and save you money. Plot twist.

Sign up for the Daily Skimm and join the millions who already wake up with us.