1. icebike's Avatar
    Congress is finally waking up to the noncompetitive situation in the Cell phone industry and may take exclusive contracts under close review.

    On Monday, four members of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet sent a letter to the FCC expressing their concern around agreements, like the one between Apple and AT&T, that allow an operator to exclusively sell a phone for a period of time.

    Senators to examine exclusive handset deals | ITworld

    The letter: from Senator Kerry's site: Senator John Kerry's Online Office :: Releases

    ---Quote:

    We write to express our concern regarding the use of exclusivity arrangements between commercial wireless carriers and handset manufacturers with respect to wireless handsets that are made available to consumers.

    We ask that you consider the following factors in making this determination:

    Whether exclusivity agreements are becoming increasingly prevalent between dominant wireless carriers and handset manufacturers;

    Whether exclusivity agreements are restricting consumer choice with respect to which handsets are available depending on a consumers geographic region, particularly for consumers living in rural America;

    Whether exclusivity agreements place limitations on a consumers ability to take full advantage of handset technologies, such as the ability to send multimedia messages or the ability to tether a device to a computer for internet use;

    Whether exclusivity agreements are manipulating the competitive marketplace between commercial wireless carriers. Specifically, whether the ability for a dominant carrier to reach an exclusive agreement with a handset manufacturer is inhibiting the ability of smaller, more regional carriers to compete; and

    Whether exclusivity agreements play a role in encouraging or discouraging innovation within the handset marketplace.

    ---end-Quote

    Blackberry, perhaps trying to get ahead of the curve is offering its new "Tour" on at least two different carriers with hints of more to come:

    RIM to Sell New Tour on Two Carriers - WSJ.com

    So if innovative phones can be offered on subsidy contracts in several European countries which are not LOCKED to specific carriers, why can't we have that here?

    Why if you walk away from ATT/Rogers do you have to give up your iPhone (or Jailbreak it, which Apple also claims is against the law).

    What's your opinion.
    06-16-2009 10:11 PM
  2. Neutrino's Avatar
    I think the carriers have taken exclusivity, as well as closed networks to an unacceptable extreme. It should never have taken Congress to start poking its head in consumer affairs. This is a very bad precedent, possibly leading to increased regulatory oversight, higher costs, and less innovation.

    Markets should police themselves as much as possible. AT&T and Verizon are legalized monopolies who offer consumers little to no choice. It is always in the consumer's best interest to cause change (e.g., the twitter petition to try and lower upgrade prices). Federal intervention is not good. Why not nationalize wireless carriers? It's just money.
    06-16-2009 10:31 PM
  3. icebike's Avatar
    Much as I agree that we don't need the Feds running cell companies, the solution here is MUCH simpler.

    Simply make it against the law to sell a carrier locked phone in the US or put any impediment in the way of a cell phone owner moving his phone to any other compatible network, just like Italy and a few other EU countries.

    This single rule would solve most of the problem, because carriers would have no real incentive to enter into exclusive contracts, or run incompatible networks.
    06-20-2009 03:49 AM
  4. infenit101's Avatar
    Much as I agree that we don't need the Feds running cell companies, the solution here is MUCH simpler.

    Simply make it against the law to sell a carrier locked phone in the US or put any impediment in the way of a cell phone owner moving his phone to any other compatible network, just like Italy and a few other EU countries.

    This single rule would solve most of the problem, because carriers would have no real incentive to enter into exclusive contracts, or run incompatible networks.
    politics are involved. nothing is ever that simple when it comes to legislation.
    06-23-2009 10:13 PM
  5. infenit101's Avatar
    I think the carriers have taken exclusivity, as well as closed networks to an unacceptable extreme. It should never have taken Congress to start poking its head in consumer affairs. This is a very bad precedent, possibly leading to increased regulatory oversight, higher costs, and less innovation.

    Markets should police themselves as much as possible. AT&T and Verizon are legalized monopolies who offer consumers little to no choice. It is always in the consumer's best interest to cause change (e.g., the twitter petition to try and lower upgrade prices). Federal intervention is not good. Why not nationalize wireless carriers? It's just money.
    The markets can't police themselves. They are corrupt as evidenced by the state of our economy. And consumers have a choice: use their service or not. You sound like a paranoid neocon.
    06-23-2009 10:15 PM
  6. chobbs1's Avatar
    Why did you start a new thread? This conversation should be on the same thread you found this information, icebike?

    Can a moderator please merge this thread with the original so it's easy to keep up with the topic?
    06-24-2009 01:47 AM
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