Tuesday, July 7, 2009

U.S. Telecom Antitrust Investigation

The Wall Street Journal has published an article stating that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has begun reviewing if large U.S. telcos such as ATT and Verizon are abusing their market power. This review is not targeted at a specific company today. The review is expected to cover all areas from land-line voice and broadband service to wireless.

The article points to exclusive contracts with handset vendors such as ATT's iPhone contract with Apple as an example. It also points to traffic management such as ATT's suppression of peer to peer traffic on its mobile data network as another example.

It sounds like this review is much more wide ranging than these two examples. The DOJ forced the breakup of ATT in 1984. This has largely been undone through the mergers and acquisitions that Verizon and the current ATT have made. Maybe it is time to take them apart again. The level of competition in the U.S. is certainly much less than in France, and we Americans pay for it.

No comments: