Verizon, AT&T under investigation

US Said to Investigate AT&T and Verizon Over Wireless Collusion Claim

The NYTimes report claims that the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the alleged collusion after an unnamed carrier and Apple filed a formal complaint. The newspaper cites six people with knowledge of the inquiry and alleges the wireless carriers worked in coordination to make it more hard for people to switch carriers. As noted by the NYT, AT&T, Verizon and the GSMA declined to comment on the topic.

The probe centers on whether Verizon and AT&T sought to establish standards that would allow carriers to lock devices to their networks even if they had embedded eSIM technology - and whether they unfairly sought to maintain their market positions, hurt consumers or competition or curb wireless innovation.

In an email to Fox 5, the Justice Department would neither confirm nor deny the investigation. Since Verizon and AT&T are the two largest wireless operators in the states, supporting eSIM technology could cause the pair to lose a number of subscribers.

"The reality is that we have a difference of opinion with a couple of phone equipment manufacturers regarding the development of e-SIM standards", Verizon spokesman Rich Young said to The Wall Street Journal.

An active investigation has now been in play for 5 months with Verizon saying it was "much ado about nothing" and AT&T being eager to "move this issue forward". A technology that would make it easier for consumers to switch carriers could be a blow to these companies' mobile businesses.

Democratic Party sues Trump, Russia, WikiLeaks over 2016 email hack
Following his upset election win over Hillary Clinton in 2016, many wondered how Donald Trump was able to pull off the victory. While there are multiple investigations of Trump and his campaign, most significantly by the special counsel, Robert S.

The probe will unfold alongside the Justice Department's ongoing effort to block a proposed $85.4 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner, citing concerns that the deal would be harmful to consumers. People typically have to buy a new SIM card when changing carriers.

The person also said the Justice Department previously examined this matter in 2016, but ended up dropping the investigation.

In December Patently Apple posted a granted patent report that covered Apple's eSIM card technology.

The technology is now available on some devices, including Apple Watch Series 3, Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch and Microsoft's Surface Pro LTE tablet. Verizon has said it needed to be able to lock down phones to prevent theft and fraud.

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