AT&T, Verizon to undergo probe

AT&T, Verizon to undergo probe

AT&T, Verizon to undergo probe

The investigation was opened five months ago after Apple and an unnamed wireless carrier complained to the DOJ, according to Reuters. This would make it impossible for customers to switch carriers and runs counter to the objective of eSIM.

It's being reported this afternoon that the Justice Department had reached out to all four major US wireless carriers as part of an antitrust investigation.

Officials requested in February that the three entities facing investigation turn over information related to purported efforts to undermine eSim, a technology that allows consumers to switch their phone numbers from one carrier to another easily.

The Justice Department hasn't confirmed the allegations at this time.

AT&T and Verizon together account for more than 70 percent of the United States wireless subscribers.

"This accusations regarding this issue are much a do about nothing", he said in a statement.

At issue is a technology that could make carriers' business more volatile. 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.

However, Judge Richard Leon, who will decide if AT&T will be allowed to buy Time Warner, is unlikely to consider a report of potential wrongdoing by the wireless giant because it is irrelevant to the merger trial under way in Washington, said Seth Bloom, a veteran of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. It's something supported by companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft, and has already been integrated to some degree in some smart watches. For companies like Apple, eSIM technology would free up storage space in devices to use for other technologies like bigger processors and batteries.

The person briefed on the matter said the Obama administration had investigated similar claims in 2016 but did not take any action. Delrahim has said the deal will hurt competition and lead to higher prices for cable customers.

"There is a constant problem with industry standards-setting organizations that on the one hand allow the industry to come together for the objective of efficiency but can be very anti-competitive and operate in secrecy", Feld said.

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