DOJ investigating AT&T, Verizon over possible collusion
DOJ investigating AT&T, Verizon over possible collusion
Report: DOJ investigating AT&T, Verizon over possible collusion
22 April, 2018, 01:46
The U.S. Justice Department has opened an antitrust probe of potential coordination by AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications, a telecommunications standards organization and potentially other providers to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers, a person briefed on the matter said on Friday.
Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating allegations of collusion by the U.S.'s two largest wireless carriers and a global industry group.
AT&T and Verizon are being accused of colluding with the G.S.M.A to try and establish a method that would allow them to lock a particular device to a carrier even if it's using the eSIM technology.
"Apple's desperate for this technology to be there because they want to make the phone smaller and thinner", Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, which break down down iPhones and writes an iPhone fix manual, said to The Wall Street Journal.
In a statement, a Verizon spokesman confirmed that the carrier had been working with the Justice Department for several months on the inquiry because of "a difference of opinion with a couple of phone equipment manufacturers regarding the development of eSIM standards". The DOJ's investigation could show that the companies along with the GSMA were trying to influence the development of this technology in order to maintain their market dominance.
Apple and Samsung have both been pushing the telecom industry to adopt eSIM technology.
We are aware of the investigation into GSMA's process for developing eSIM standards that provide a better experience for consumers. The Justice Department says its merger will hurt competition and lead to higher prices for customers.
CNN's video below covers why the AT&T Time Warner trial matters. With an eSIM embedded in a handset, the user doesn't have to swap a SIM card on a phone to change carriers.
MacRumors covered Apple Watch 3 with LTE and eSIM cards having problems with AT&T going back to last September.
Harold Fled, a VP of them consumer protection group Public Knowledge, said that he was briefed on a meeting a year ago where AT&T and Verizon discussed pushing for device locking, and Verizon claimed that it needed to protect against theft and fraud. Verizon supposedly claimed that it needed to lock down their phones as a way to prevent theft and fraud.
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