Justice Department examining possible antitrust collusion by AT&T, Verizon to limit eSIM

AT&T, Verizon under DoJ antitrust investigation for possible eSIM collusion, report says

Shares of AT&T dropped Friday after the New York Times reported the Department of Justice opened a, anti-trust investigation into coordination by the carriers to "hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers".

The technology, which is already available in Apple's iPads, makes it possible to switch between carriers without having to change out a physical SIM.

The Department of Justice and the GSMA, the telecommunications standard setting group, declined to comment on news of the investigation.

Missouri Gov. Greitens indicted on felony computer-tampering cha
Greitens and the person who obtained the list knew they did not have permission to use the donor list, the document states. Both the invasion of privacy and computer tampering charges are felonies, each punishable by up to four years in prison.

This investigation, according to today's report, started five months ago after one device maker and wireless carrier filed formal complaints with the DOJ. "Nothing more", Verizon said.

Sprint declined to comment, and representatives for Verizon, T-Mobile and the GSMA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Verizon repudiated the claim, arguing a "difference of opinion with a couple of phone equipment manufacturers regarding the development of eSIM standards", but has been working with the United States government on the inquiry. The company said it "will continue to work proactively within GSMA, including with those who might disagree with the proposed standards, to move this issue forward". This would make it impossible for customers to switch carriers and runs counter to the objective of eSIM.

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The Justice Department sent a letter in February to the four major national carriers as well as to an industry standards-setting group, GSMA, seeking more information, a person with knowledge of the inquiry told CNN. Verizon closed down 1.1 percent to $47.90 after losing as much as 2.5 percent.

The feds are looking into whether AT&T and Verizon along with an global standards body have been in cahoots to make it hard for people to switch carriers, according to a report from the New York Times. The Justice Department hasn't confirmed the allegations at this time.

AT&T is also facing an antitrust lawsuit from the Justice Department over its $85 billion merger with Time Warner. Under eSIM, user identification technology of a traditional SIM card is instead transferred to the device's processor or modem itself. "The DOJ must investigate this alleged collusion swiftly to protect the rights of American consumers".

Raul Castro Will End Cuba's Political Dynasty By Resigning As Cuba's President
Cuba's leader Raúl Castro might be stepping down from office, but don't expect much to change on the island nation right away. The Florida Republican said in a Wednesday statement that Cuba continues to be oppressed by a single-party system.

AT&T and Time Warner have disputed the claims in court.

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