According to the Times, Verizon and AT&T allegedly colluded with the G.S.M.A.to develop a telecom standard that would allow a carrier to lock a handset to its network even if the device is equipped with eSIM technology.
AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. are under investigation by United States antitrust officials over whether the companies colluded to make it tougher for consumers to switch wireless carriers, according to three people familiar with the matter. The newspaper cites six people with knowledge of the inquiry and alleges the wireless carriers worked in coordination to make it more hard for people to switch carriers. Many believe that one of the complainants was Apple, but the company has declined to comment.
It's being reported this afternoon that the Justice Department had reached out to all four major USA wireless carriers as part of an antitrust investigation.
The new technology offers universal standard for eSIM that allows consumers to switch wireless providers without having to insert a new physical SIM card, which is a microchip. North America. Attending the meeting were both Verizon and AT&T, and the pair both argued for the ability to bypass eSIM technology and lock phones to their respective networks.
Verizon and AT&T logos. But the companies have been under threat from other mobile wireless providers, such as T-Mobile, which has cut prices and aggressively marketed its services. A technology that would make it easier for consumers to switch carriers could be a blow to these companies' mobile businesses.
The Justice Department is also now suing to block a merger between AT&T and Time Warner. The Justice Department says its merger will hurt competition and lead to higher prices for customers. The federal trial is expected to end later this month. People typically have to buy a new SIM card when changing carriers.
eSIM is gaining popularity among device manufacturers and consumers, with the Apple Watch Series 3, Google Pixel 2, and Microsoft Surface all supporting the technology. Verizon had previously stated that it needed to be able lock down phones as a way to prevent fraud and theft.