No, Your Wireless and Cable Bills Aren't Going to Surge
Despite what you read in newspapers and on blogs, expect your wireless, cable and internet service to improve as prices fall, whether you are a subscriber to Comcast (CMCSA - Get Report), Verizon (VZ - Get Report), AT&T (T), T-Mobile (TMUS - Get Report), Sprint (S), or Time Warner Cable (TWC).
An epic consolidation of the telecom and cable industries could run its course in 2014, if Comcast is able to buy Time Warner Cable, if Sprint unveils a bid for T-Mobile and if DirecTV (DTV) is acquired by either AT&T or Dish Network (DISH).
Any of these deals are likely to be deemed anti-competitive; however, the threat to consumers and their pocketbooks may prove overstated.
Service is improving in the U.S. wireless and broadband industry. Meanwhile, there is an explosion of ways in which ordinary American can now view media content. Put simply, it is a renaissance for media.
But despite the threat of consolidation, prices may not rise or become the boogeyman that many believe will be the result of mega-mergers. It appears consolidation is more about building scale, improving corporate balance sheets and adding service offerings to consumers. Meanwhile, data points are beginning to show clear evidence of falling prices, especially in wireless data plans.