Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) And AT&T Fall Amid Potential eSIM Antitrust Action

22 April, 2018, 01:51 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • AT&T, Verizon and GSMA being investigated over eSIM, NYT reports

The New York Times, citing six people, reported on Friday that the Justice Department had opened an investigation about five months ago after at least one device maker and one wireless carrier filed formal complaints with the Justice Department.

Aside from being much smaller than current nano-SIM cards, eSIM would let customers switch from one carrier to another with nearly as much ease as one switches from one email address to another.

The Justice Department, the GSMA and Apple have all declined to comment on the situation.

The technology is supposed to allow customers to switch wireless carriers without having to change out their hardware SIM cards.

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The Justice Department is investigating an alleged case of collusion, but this has nothing to do with President Donald J. Trump and Russian Federation. "The reality is that we have a difference of opinion with a couple of phone equipment manufacturers regarding the development of e-SIM standards".

An active investigation has now been in play for 5 months with Verizon saying it was "much ado about nothing" and AT&T being eager to "move this issue forward".

eSIMs are at the heart of Microsoft's Always-Connected PC initiative, and Windows 10 Redstone 4 is set to make it easy to buy data plans from carriers simply by downloading an app from the Microsoft Store, similar to how one can buy a WIFI data plan.

In December Patently Apple posted a granted patent report that covered Apple's eSIM card technology.

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MacRumors covered Apple Watch 3 with LTE and eSIM cards having problems with AT&T going back to last September. He has said the Justice Department will scrutinize potential coordination in standards-setting organizations that can hurt competition.

AT&T and Time Warner have disputed the claims in court. In late 2013, under pressure by the Federal Communications Commission, the wireless industry agreed to let people take devices off any particular network without penalty once the devices were fully paid for.

Consumer advocates learned in February that Verizon was apparently planning to lock phones as an anti-theft measure, and later were told by industry participants that Verizon was working with AT&T in hopes of convincing the GSMA to create a standard for locking the phones, according to Harold Feld, a senior vice president at Public Knowledge.

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