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Thread: If it works, break it.
07-07-09, 08:32 AM #1
If it works, break it.
Typical Gov't operation. If it works, break it
DoJ to review handset arrangements
By Richard Waters in San Francisco and Tom Braithwaite in Washington
Published: July 6 2009 21:49 | Last updated: July 7 2009 09:21
The Department of Justice has started an informal review of the exclusive arrangements that limit handsets such as Apple’s iPhone to particular wireless communications companies, according to people familiar with the matter.
The inquiry follows consolidation in the US wireless industry that has left four operators accounting for more than 90 per cent of the country’s wireless subscribers. This has left them with the market power to carve out exclusive deals with makers of the most popular handsets, making it hard for smaller rivals to compete and leading to higher prices for mobile services, according to rivals.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which dominate the US mobile industry with more than 60 per cent of subscribers, said they had not been contacted by regulators and were unaware of any review. The Department of Justice declined to comment.
AT&T said: “The US wireless industry is highly competitive and, as a result, delivers terrific innovation, many choices and attractive pricing for all customer segments.”
However, in recent days DoJ officials have contacted smaller operators to seek their views, according to people familiar with the situation. News of the antitrust regulators’ interest comes more than a year after the Federal Communications Commission received its first formal complaint on exclusive handset deals. The FCC said last month it would begin its own review of the matter.
The DoJ’s interest was welcomed by John Kerry, the Democratic senator for Massachusetts and a member of the Senate’s committee on commerce, science and transportation, which recently held hearings on the issue. “We need to know more about how these contracts affect competition in the marketplace and its impact on consumers,” he said.
The signs of increasing regulatory scrutiny of exclusive deals highlight a key structural factor that sets the US apart from most other wireless markets.
The French Competition Council late last year overturned Apple’s exclusive deal to sell the iPhone through a single carrier there, and Apple has given up its early attempt to use exclusive arrangements to promote the device in most countries. In the US, AT&T’s exclusive iPhone deal has accounted for a large proportion of new subscribers.
07-07-09, 09:12 AM #2AT&T said: “The US wireless industry is highly competitive and, as a result, delivers terrific innovation, many choices and attractive pricing for all customer segments.”
Where's AOL? Compuserve? (finally got completely shut off last week) Prodigy? What's that, their fiefdoms collapsed when faced with competition? Why does your new computer cost a third as much as the one before?
Get the DOJ and FCC out of the phone equation and... What's that? They regulate these markets? Well, can't be having that then. Wouldn't be fair to have unregulated competition. That would hurt the consumer. Why without consumer protection AOL would own the internet by now.
Very good then, carry on.
Originally Posted by William Pitt (the Younger), Speech in the House of Commons (18 November, 1783)
07-07-09, 10:39 AM #3
Perhaps it has more to do with advertising than anything else. Has anyone seen a commercial lately for anything other than AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint???--"D.B.A.D." --Me
--Life's tough...it's tougher if you're stupid.
--"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." -Elbert Hubbard
07-07-09, 10:44 AM #4
It's getting old, the Federal government sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. To me it's no different than any other business with the "If you build it, they will come" adage.
Someone in Washington must be trying to justify their paycheck.
07-07-09, 01:03 PM #5
OH Great! First it's Obama Motors and now we'll have Obama Telecom.
07-07-09, 02:12 PM #6
My dad, I miss him every day.
Originally Posted by Wolven
Life is too short to wear unsexy underwear.
I am a female!!!!! LMAO
Be who you are and say what you feel.....
Because those that matter...don't mind...
And those that mind...don't matter
07-07-09, 02:53 PM #7
Lovely, so now the "Verizon network" that follows me around is going to be comprised of John Kerry and his buddies.
07-07-09, 02:57 PM #8
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.
07-07-09, 09:44 PM #9
07-08-09, 08:58 AM #10
07-08-09, 10:38 AM #11
You think he uses one when he nails the first lady? Imagine the operator slipping the wrong name into THAT scenario!!!
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