A combination of T-Mobile US Inc. and Dish Network Corp. would merge two companies rooted in different industries. For consumers, it would merge some of the fastest-growing bills in their budgets.
American households spent more than $191 a month on average for television, Internet and phone services in 2013, according to Labor Department data. That was up 24% from 2007 and about what they spent on health insurance.
The question is whether Americans are going to take to paying all that to one company. The prospect isn’t so far-out anymore. With satellite broadcaster Dish Network pursuing a merger with wireless carrier T-Mobile US, AT&T Inc. about to close a $49 billion acquisition of Dish rival DirecTV and cable companies experimenting with cellphone plans, many of the services that keep people entertained and in touch are moving under the same roof.
Allconnect’s Mr. Howe, who sells bundles to about 900,000 customers a year, said he is seeing the power of such deals diminish as more people choose cellphones over landlines and cut the cable cord in favor of streaming with an online video solution. Bundles will be successful if they evolve to cater to users’ new taste, he said.
Such providers are betting on so-called convergence—the idea that they will be better off if they can bulk up, as services that used to flow via different wires and satellite dishes all start travelling on the Internet.
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