Group wants government to scrutinize geo-targeted ads by AT&T

The combination of the nation's second-and-fourth largest wireless firms would leave Verizon Wireless in second place and Sprint Nextel a distant third. Chester also expressed concern about the cooperation between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon on the Isis mobile payment system, asking the government to examine the merger's impact on competition in the mobile-payment space.

The Federal Communications Commission opened a docket on the merger Thursday, indicating a review is under way with cooperation from the Department of Justice. Consumer advocates appear likely to press for conditions that would prevent AT&T from using its position as a major wireless carrier to collect data for use by third parties or marketing services.

Location-based services are another hot topic and likely to come up during the upcoming debate on privacy legislation following the introduction of privacy bills in both the House and the Senate. Some smartphone apps currently collect data on location without the user's knowledge or consent.