AT&T Buys T-Mobile: Good For Anyone?

A few hours ago the news broke that AT&T has agreed to purchase rival mobile carrier T-Mobile for $39 billion.  As that news sinks in the big question becomes – is it good for consumers?  AT&T says that the U.S. wireless industry is “one of the most fiercely competitive in the world, and will remain so after this deal.”

I tend to feel otherwise.  After all, has anyone noticed the pricing plans seem to be a bit similar?  Has anyone noticed the ridiculous pricing of text messages?  I am not accusing them of collusion, but if forced, I could make that argument.

So now, years after breakup of Ma Bell, the telco’s have moved another step closer to regaining that old “one company to rule them all” feel.  AT&T, however, would like you to think otherwise.  In their press release they lead one to beleive this is about infrastructure and moving their network closer to 4G.  That makes sense because AT&T has gained a notoriously bad reputation in recent years due to connectivity issues, mainly with iPhone users.

So what does everyone think?  Will this be good for consumers because it will bolster the under-powered AT&T network?  Will it be bad for consumers because it takes away another option for those shopping for a wireless plan?  I tend towards the latter, but if you feel differently then let us know in the comments.