Justice Investigating AT&T and Verizon for Collusion

Justice Investigating AT&T and Verizon for Collusion

The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into whether AT&T, Verizon and the GSM Alliance (GSMA) industry standards group may have colluded to make switching cell phone carriers more hard. The three companies may have collaborated to make it harder for customers to switch wireless carriers.

The technology, which is already available in Apple's iPads, makes it possible to switch between carriers without having to change out a physical SIM. The allegation against the carrier and GSMA is that they waned the ability to lock devices to their networks even if eSIM technology was being used.

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The Times report says that an investigation was opened "about five months ago", after "at least one device maker and one wireless carrier filed formal complaints with the Justice Department".

A Verizon spokesman told the outlet that the inquiry was "much ado about nothing", and that the company had been cooperating with the Justice Department because of "a difference of opinion with a couple of phone equipment manufacturers regarding the development of eSIM standards". "False ring tones also create a misleading impression that a caller's service provider is not responsible if the call fails", explains the FCC order.

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Verizon and AT&T fell on the news. In that instance, the Justice Department claims that control of key content will give AT&T leverage to use against competitors and streaming services to keep prices high. As we have from the outset, we will continue to work with Federal officials and others in the industry as we strive to find a mutually acceptable solution.

He previously warned of the potential for "cartel-like behavior" by competitors that got together with standards-setting organizations. This is likely why CNBC believes that it was Apple who contacted the government to complain about the problem. All the user needs to do is send one message to the new carrier and another to the old provider. To catch up on this tech drama, check out CNN's report here.

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The US government has argued in a trial that is nearing completion that the proposed deal would spur AT&T to charge its pay TV rivals more for Time Warner content. Will mobile TV bundles interfere with Apple's plans? Those using abusive language or negative behavior will result in being blacklisted on Disqus.

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