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 Tuesday, August 31, 2010

4 carriers control of 90 percent of wireless market, government report finds.

A government report finds that mergers and acquisitions over the past decade have left just four big carriers in control of 90 percent of the wireless market, thus making it harder for small and regional companies to compete.

A study from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, also found that despite the consolidation, consumers are benefiting from better wireless coverage and prices that are half what they were in 1999. The GAO report, released Thursday, comes as the Federal Communications Commission is ramping up oversight of the wireless industry. The report says the number of cell phone subscribers in the U.S. stood at 285 million at the end of 2009, up from 3.5 million in 1989.