Verizon/Alltel – Where Does it Leave Consumers?

Verizon’s announcement to purchase Alltel for $28 billion raises some interesting questions surrounding whether these mega acquisitions are ever good for the consumer?

In terms of the purchase, many analysts say that a regulatory review of the deal will result in Verizon Wireless being forced to sell off spectrum licenses in areas where its coverage overlaps Alltel’s. That would allow Verizon to maintain Alltel’s coverage, while allowing other carriers to enter the market by taking over the divested licenses.

Unfortunately, that would probably spell the end for Alltel’s unlimited wireless plan, which allows for unlimited calling to and from any five, 10 or 20 numbers within the U.S., wireless or landline, which remains popular with its predominately rural customer base. The upside is Alltel subscribers would have access to a greater range of handsets and have access to faster wireless broadband and 4G networks.

The bottom line seems to be that no matter what the circumstances, just like mergers in the airline industry, there are always winners and losers resulting from these acquisitions, and customers seem to do business in spite of their feelings about their telecom providers.

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