US DoJ Investigating AT&T and Verizon Over Claims of Collusion

Apple iPhone 6

According to a new report from the New York Times, the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an antitrust investigation into AT&T, Verizon and the GSMA about possible collusion over eSIM technology.

Shares of AT&T and Verizon dipped after the initial Times report, with AT&T closing down 0.4 per cent at US$34.67, and Verizon ending off 1.1 per cent, at US$47.90.

During the duration of this investigation, the G.S.M.A has confirmed that they would put the developments of the method to lock a carrier to a device using eSIM on hold until a verdict is reached.

Carriers like AT&T and Verizon have increasingly been losing subscribers to T-Mobile, thanks to more consumer friendly policies ranging from cheaper global roaming to the elimination of hidden fees and long-term contracts. "Along with other GSMA members, we have provided information to the government in response to their requests and will continue to work proactively within GSMA, including with those who might disagree with the proposed standards, to move this issue forward".

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All the user needs to do is send one message to the new carrier and another to the old provider. The investigation began five months after one device maker and one wireless carrier filed complaints of collusion to the Justice Department.

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

MacRumors covered Apple Watch 3 with LTE and eSIM cards having problems with AT&T going back to last September.

We are aware of the investigation into GSMA's process for developing eSIM standards that provide a better experience for consumers. AT&T and Time Warner have strongly disputed the claims in a federal trial that is expected to end this month.

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Apple and Samsung have both been pushing the telecom industry to adopt eSIM technology.

AT&T also indicated it was they are working with the Justice Department.

In a private meeting this year of a task force called GSMA North America, AT&T and Verizon pushed for the ability to lock phones to their networks, bypassing the goal of eSIM technology, said Harold Feld, a senior vice president of Public Knowledge, a nonprofit consumer group, who was briefed on the meeting.

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