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Consumer Reports is an independent nonprofit organization that works for a fair, safe and transparent marketplace.

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What the AT&T Wireless-Cingular Merger Means for Consumers

Consumers Union expects the era of declining wireless prices will end, and some prices could increase, as a result of the merger. The exit of AT&T Wireless means one less national wireless phone service provider in the market. Fewer cell phone competitors mean fewer choices for consumers. Consumers already have seen mergers between local telephone companies result in bigger phone bills, including new fees and surcharges. Industry analysts expect other major wireless phone company mergers, further shrinking choices in the cell phone market.