Apparently, Verizon and AT&T do not want to let their customers out of their grasps.
In fact, it is said that they may have colluded to make it more difficult for users to change cell phone carriers.
The New York Times noted that the Justice Department is having an investigation over the possible collusion of the two companies to stifle a technology that is known as eSIM. If the eSIM is deployed, it will make it easier for people to change from provider to provider without buying a new physical SIM card. Thus, it potentially leaves Verizon or AT&T behind in the said process.
The US Justice Department is also investigating a mobile communications industry group called G.S.M.A., for possibly participating in the scheme that is as-of-yet unconfirmed.
A spokesperson for Verizon informed the paper that this is all only “a difference of opinion with a couple of phone equipment manufacturers regarding the development of eSIM standards.”
A spokesperson for AT&T informed The New York Times that the company was “aware of the investigation.”
According to CNBC, however, it is not just Verizon and AT&T that are under the microscope of the government. Reportedly, Sprint and T-Mobile are also being investigated. A source informed the publication that Apple filed the said complaint.
MarketWatch notes that the US Justice Department sent “civil investigative demands” to the firms last February.
In a statement to The New York Times, the group said: “The G.S.M.A. is cooperating fully with the Department of Justice in this matter.”