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sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111

Collusion

If this isn't collusion, then what is lol. The plans are almost exactly the same priced with just subtle differences here and there to make it look a little different. It is like Verizon and AT&T got together and said, "Hey lets offer nearly the same plans but you (Verizon) announce yours first and I will announce mine the following month so it doesn't look suspicious. Sound good? Ok let's do it!!"

93388818
It's cool, I'm takin it back
Premium
join:2000-03-14
Dallas, TX

Re: Collusion

pure speculation. Wouldn't you expect the top two wireless providers to have similar pricing?
sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111

Re: Collusion

LOL, in a true competitive market, nope. I would think a true competitor would actually "try" to take business away from his competitor by offering "better" prices vs. "same" prices.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Collusion

Well, first off let me say this is definitely smelling of collusion.

But, AT&T did come in with an edge, and that's on the handset. Just before I came to BBR and read this today I was on another site and saw the Galaxy Nexus advertised as a link to VZ,.. they want $649 for it out of contract. I'm not too sure that too many people are going to feel like paying that price and will opt to change plans with VZ. With AT&T not forcing a full price phone at LEAST, if I can say anything nice, is that they're being reasonable about it.

I also didn't see if AT&T is forcing this as their ONLY plan, of if their share plans are an option in addition to other types of plans.

Edit: AT&T isn't making this the ONLY option.. they state they'll still offer the traditional family plans. THAT is a plus! Seems to me this will give AT&T a leg up over VZ. Then again, sooner or later, AT&T may come out, if a majority of people adopt them, and say that no one wants the old plans any more... or something. Who knows.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
I'd expect ten wireless carriers with reasonably similar networks to offer similar services. They'd each be fighting for customers, margins would be thin and by necessity, services would be very similar. There would also be fire sales and various other gimmicks as each tries hard to maintain a healthy margin and yet differentiate themselves.

When only two exist with reasonably similar networks, there are no logical expectations regarding services because the chances of them being driven by competition are remote. The iPhone exclusive once granted to ATT is just one example of how this market's products and services cannot be driven by competition. If you wanted an iPhone, you had no choice.

When my iPhone 4 finally gets too slow, thanks to Apple's bloated iOS upgrades, I won't buy another. I'll save a ton of money buying an alternative smart phone with an MVNO and leverage free WiFi hotspots as much as possible.

technologiq

join:2000-08-08
Reno, NV
They are price signalling which becomes awfully close to collusion. If they wanted competition you'd be seeing more value from one than the other, trying to get customers.

However, what IS happening is both companies are watching each other and RAISING costs to the consumer.

AT&T and Verizon hold massive market share (combined 68% and rising) and are reaching the point of market saturation. At this point you have two options:

1. Lower prices/increase value - creates competition and reason for consumers to jump from Company X to company Y.

2. Remove the risk of losing customers by giving them no reason to leave. If Company X and Company Y offer the same product, for the same price, why move?

AT&T and Verizon have gone with option #2. It reduces churn and allows them to increase revenue by raising prices. The top two wireless providers literally don't care about competition at this point.

Why isn't this collusion (yet)? AT&T made a bid they probably knew would fail to buy T-Mobile. There wasn't a $3Billion gamble on the deal, AT&T was making an investment to make sure AT&T and Verizon didn't look like an oligopoly. It's probably the reason why T-Mobile is still without the iPhone (too much potential for competition). You'd have to be naive to think that AT&T doesn't have their fingers in T-Mobile in some way.

I'm sorry, but if you believe companies working together to screw the consumer is a good thing you're either:

1. Working for or formerly employed by AT&T/VZW
2. Shareholder (after all, increased revenue & profits is a good thing for shareholders)
3. Completely naive

Info regarding market share and saturation:

»www.nasdaq.com/article/earnings- ··· 12-00885)

»www.statista.com/statistics/2197 ··· iptions/

Streetlight

join:2005-11-07
Colorado Springs, CO

Re: Collusion

There are at least two reasons to switch.

(1) Coverage - if your signal with a carrier is horrible with dropped calls, poor data rates, etc., asking neighbors and colleagues could indicate better service with another carrier.

(2) International travel - switching to a GSM carrier from a CDMA carrier might be more convenient when traveling to Europe as one can buy a SIM with minutes/data abroad or get an international plan from the GSM carrier before travel. CDMA carriers do carry international phones, usually Blackberries.
--
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

Sherlock Holmes in
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
A. C. Doyle
Strand Magazine, October 1891