Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

DOJ investigating AT&T, Verizon over possible collusion

DOJ investigating AT&T, Verizon over possible collusion

FBN's Connell McShane discusses the court battle between AT&T-Time Warner and the Department of Justice.

- The U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible collusion between Verizon, AT&T, and GSMA, a mobile industry standards-setting group, according to the New York Times.

Apple (NASDAQ:) is the 500-pound gorilla behind a Justice Dept. probe of the big four wireless carriers that dented their stocks this afternoon, Bloomberg is saying, and multiple device makers are said to have complained about potential coordination. Combined, Verizon and AT&T both provide wireless service to the majority of mobile phone users in the US.

Representatives for the Justice Department, GSMA and Apple declined to comment.

Trump Backtracks On TPP Renewal
But on Wednesday night, the president said he's more interested in a bilateral trade deal with Japan. Trump failed to specifically say the USA wasn't interested at this deal.

It is common practice for the Justice Department to send CIDs, the civil equivalent of a subpoena, to all major players in the industry because the agency wants evidence from companies that allegedly participate in any conspiracy as well as those outside of it, according to Ethan Glass, a former trial attorney with the Justice Department now at the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP. Verizon has denied any wrongdoing. The DOJ argues that the deal will hurt competition and lead to higher prices. Those on the Google carrier do not receive a SIM card when ordering the phone, with service activated and connected during the initial setup process. One the one hand it would make it easier to purchase data wherever your travels take you, and always have the best signal no-matter who your primary provider is, but on the other hand it may make carriers reluctant to subsidize ACPC devices, who tend to be more expensive than a similar device without a WLAN modem.

Apple has been including eSIM technology in its iPads for some time now, and began offering it with its Series 3 cellular Apple Watches as well.

The probe is also looking into whether industry standards organization GSMA was part of the collusion.

More recently, the IoT industry has been pushing for eSIM services with the argument that IoT devices can potentially be deployed anywhere in the world, and so therefore need to be able to remotely switch among providers - like when a connected auto drives across country lines. Verizon has said it needed to be able to lock down phones to prevent theft and fraud.

Like this: