AT&T and Verizon under investigation over possible collusion to stop people switching phone provider
The Department of Justice is investigating potential efforts by AT&T and Verizon to hamstring a technology that could make it easier for consumers to seamlessly switch their wireless carriers, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The probe appears to focus on whether those companies – perhaps in a bid to stop their subscribers from jumping ship to rivals – colluded to undermine so-called eSIM cards, a technology that could someday allow the owners of smartphones, smart watches or other devices to change their service provider on their own, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to speak freely about the probe, which has not been made public.
If the US government ultimately determines that AT&T and Verizon harmed competitors or consumers, it could result in major fines or other penalties.
Verizon Executive Vice President, Hans Vestberg, speaks during a keynote discussion on 5G and mobile innovation during CES 2018 in Las Vegas in January (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/G..