Lawmakers examine U.S. cell phone market

The Federal Communications Commission has opened up an investigation into the U.S. mobile phone industry, looking into any type of antitrust behavior and possible collusion between several wireless providers.

Specifically, the FCC is interested in investigating the top four phone companies:  Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile.


The FCC already launched an investigation into exclusivity deals between wireless carriers and mobile phone manufacturers, including the AT&T/Apple iPhone agreement.  Although carrier exclusivity deals are expected when purchasing most mobile phones, smaller carriers say they are at an unjust disadvantage due to the deals.

VERIZON-WIRELESS-FLIPSHOT“I hope the new wireless competition report will help set a standard for fact-based, analytically deep analysis of the mobile industry,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, speaking with the Washington Post.  “It is essential that the commission develop policies that encourage a new generation of innovators, working with new tools, on new platforms, and having an extraordinary impact on our economy and society.”

Furthermore, U.S. wireless subscribers pay the most out of anyone in the modernized world, which is something else the FCC will look  into.  This follows recent news that consumers and several politicians have grown frustrated with the rising costs of text and picture messaging. Despite the low cost of bandwidth for text messages, carriers continue to raise prices.


I doubt anything will be fixed immediately, but it’d be excellent if government regulators stopped wireless companies from simply doing whatever they want to do — and more importantly, from charging such ludicrous prices that continue to rise.

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