Radio News: With less competition, telecom services raise rates

Jun 09, 2022 11:33 pm

Karl Bode reports in Techdirt that antitrust and telecom experts warned that a Sprint and T-Mobile merger would result in layoffs and higher prices. Now that the merger is approved and the number of major U.S. wireless services has been reduced from four to three, employees are being laid off and consumers are paying higher prices as predicted. T-Mobile almost immediately laid off more than 5,000 employees after the merger was approved. Now, over the last few weeks, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have all raised costs to consumers. The telecoms are passing the price hikes off as "fees" and blaming them on everything except reduced competition. For instance, Verizon increased the “administrative charge” it places on millions of user wireless bills from $1.35 to $3.30. “To be clear, this is not a price plan increase for consumer lines,” a Verizon spokesperson told Fierce in a statement. “From time to time, we review and make adjustments to fees to defray some of Verizon’s administrative and telco expenses and costs of complying with regulatory requirements. To that end, Verizon Consumer will implement a change beginning in June.” AT&T also raised rates from $6 to $12 a month on different mobile service plans. T-Mobile also raised its upgrade and activation fees by $5. And if all three telecom services are raising rates, what is a poor customer to do? Change carriers? Read more about this story in Techdirt.