Verizon, AT&T fall on report DOJ is probing collusion

Verizon, AT&T fall on report DOJ is probing collusion

Verizon, AT&T fall on report DOJ is probing collusion

Anonymous sources told the NYT that official complaints were filed roughly five months ago, and two months ago the DOJ issued demands to AT&T, Verizon, and the GSMA.

And there have been industry movements toward SIM cards that can switch among carriers.

GSMA said in a statement that the move to a global standard for eSIM technology is "on hold pending the completion of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice".

eSIM, short for embedded SIM, is a new format of the ubiquitous SIM cards that are used in phones and other mobile devices to securely identify and authenticate a user on a carrier's network. eSIMs are non-removable chips that are embedded into a device and allow consumers to switch networks through software settings instead of having to physically remove and insert a small piece of plastic into their device.

The Justice Department is investigating an alleged case of collusion, but this has nothing to do with President Donald J. Trump and Russian Federation.

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AT&T and Verizon are the giants of the USA wireless business, controlling about 70 percent of all wireless subscriptions.

Verizon on Friday called the probe "much ado about nothing", adding it has been working with the Justice Department for several months "regarding the inquiry", according to spokesman Rich Young. Making it easier for consumers to switch carriers would unquestionably threaten their grasp on the market. Google's Pixel 2 smartphones and Microsoft's Surface devices also use eSIM tech, hinting that these companies may have had reason to file complaints as well. For companies like Apple, eSIM technology would free up storage space in devices to use for other technologies like bigger processors and batteries.

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. Delrahim has said the deal will hurt competition and lead to higher prices for cable customers.

AT&T and Time Warner have disputed the claims in court. Verizon has said it needed to be able to lock down phones to prevent theft and fraud.

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