• Home »
  • Big stories »
  • US DOJ investigating AT&T and Verizon collusion claims

23 April 2018 at 08:55 BST

US DOJ investigating AT&T and Verizon collusion claims

The US Justice Department (DOJ) is investigating collusion, which also involves the industry trade association.


The US Justice Department (DOJ) is Investigating a claim of collusion between AT&T and Verizon Communications, according to a report in the New York Times. The DOJ has opened an antitrust investigation into potential coordination by AT&T, Verizon Communications and the GSM Association (GSMA) to hinder consumers from easily switching carriers.

Collusion claim

The DOJ has issued demands for information on potential collusion to thwart a technology known as eSIM (embedded SIM) allowing people to switch wireless providers remotely without having to insert a new SIM card into a device. According to the report, the investigation centres on whether the wireless carriers, “working with the GSMA, secretly tried to influence mobile technology to unfairly maintain their dominance, in a way that hurt competition and consumers and hindered innovation in the wider mobile industry.” Easy switching could lead to more turnover and fewer subscribers for AT&T and Verizon, which together control about 70 percent of all wireless subscriptions in the US.

'Much ado about nothing'

Representatives for the Justice Department, and Apple declined to comment. In a statement to the newspaper, a Verizon spokesman called the investigation 'a difference of opinion' and 'much ado about nothing.' An AT&T spokesman said it was  working 'to move this issue forward.' The investigation may also include major American carriers other than AT&T and Verizon, a person with knowledge of the inquiry said. The GSMA. said it is 'cooperating fully with the Department of Justice in this matter.' The DOJ is currently suing AT&T to block its $85.4 billion merger with Time Warner, believing the deal will hurt competition and lead to higher prices for cable customers. The federal trial is expected to end this month.


Also read...

Confusion over big four Indian law change

Report says big four accounting firms may soon be able to practice law in India after all.