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AT&T Hits Back Against Antitrust Claims

Reuters today reports that AT&T called claims that there is a lack of competition in the wireless industry unfounded, with senior executive vice president James Cicconi quoted as saying, "U.S. wireless prices are much lower than in any other major industrialized country."

Cicconi went on to say that texting prices had fallen because of package deals, "dropping almost 70 percent since January 2007," and argued that exclusive agreements between cell phone makes and wireless networks allow for both companies involved to split the marketing costs of “inventive but unproven” devices.

The comments follow news reports that the Department of Justice is looking into exclusive deals between carriers and manufacturers. First brought to light by several United States Senators who sent a letter to Michael Copps, acting chairman of the FCC requesting a probe, the FCC has since said it will investigate the industry’s practices. Sources told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that the DOJ’s review is in its very early stages and is not yet a formal probe of any specific company.

  • dman3k
    AT&T defending this is like the KKK defending white America.
    Reply
  • lifelesspoet
    @ dman3k Awefully crass statement but not an entirely unfounded analogy.
    I won't argue that att's statement is false or not, but there is damaged done conversly by lack of choice. How many iphone users are stuck with att despite their complete hatred for the carrier and how many others are waiting for exclusive phones to come to their area/carrier. I think its usually best to err on the side of consumer choice.
    Reply
  • Hanin33
    att - "we do not wish to risk any amount of money in the process of extorting our customer base to it's fullest!"

    while i don't quite believe there exist an antitrust in this situation, it most certainly is the case that neither of these 'businesses' wants to risk anything. sure, it's legal for them to do it but it doesn't work out well for the consumer.
    Reply
  • kezix_69
    I think this just started because people that don't want AT&T want to use the iPhone already. The iPhone is just too popular. Hopefully other phones like the Palm Pre can stand up against the iPhone to fix that problem.
    Reply
  • chripuck
    dman3kAT&T defending this is like the KKK defending white America.That's really classy there...

    Bottom line is we do have much more affordable cell service than other areas of the world including Europe. Try taking my 450 minute plan at $39.99 /month and get it for that in Europe, hint, it's not gonna happen. Assuming I spend half of my minutes calling cell lines and the other half calling land lines I'd rack of a bill in exces of $54 each month... and honestly, who actually calls landlines.

    I'm not a big AT&T fan, but I'm tired of people bashing something they don't understand just so because they want the shiney new iPhone on Verizon (which wouldn't even apply with this case.) At most Apple would have to sell their phone with T-Mobile as well.
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    Maybe verison and spirt should have thought of the iphone popularity before at&t and apple cut a deal =p how is exclusive rights to things like this anti trust it happens all the time in a multiple of businesses esp in tech industries.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    Bottom line is we do have much more affordable cell service than other areas of the world including Europe. Try taking my 450 minute plan at $39.99 /month and get it for that in Europe, hint, it's not gonna happen.

    That is the exact same plan I have, but I get a vendor discount working for a company that manages their cell site technology. But, comparing to Europe, of course it's more expensive over there. Also, they are always on the bleeding edge of the latest cellular (G) technology. But why so expensive in Europe? Look at the spectrum license fees in some countries over there and how those licenses are allocated out (they're auctioned).
    Reply
  • EntropyMu
    Maybe they have a problem with price fixing between companies, not individual phone-carrier deals. For example- every cellular company charges outrageous amounts for text messages - I saw a figure once where downloading an MP3 at text message rates would cost you $5600. Doesn't it seem fishy that none of the carriers offers texting at a reasonable rate in order to gain a competitive edge?
    Reply
  • doc70
    there should be a probe alright... the kind we customers get in the rear end every time we get screwed by the corp.
    Reply
  • "...and argued that exclusive agreements between cell phone makes and wireless networks allow for both companies involved to split the marketing costs of “inventive but unproven” devices."

    Yeah...inventive and unproven devices...that have already sold millions of units in asia and europe months BEFORE THEY EVER see the light of day in the US due to the stifling effect of these very same carrier locking and exclusivity agreements p

    This idiot outright lies, then contradicts himself with his own lie. Stunning.
    Reply