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DOJ Looks Into Exclusive Mobile Carrier Deals

Last month U.S. Senators sent a letter to Michael Copps, acting chairman of the FCC, requesting a probe into exclusive deals between mobile phone manufacturers and wireless carriers. Democrats John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet; Byron Dorgan of North Dakota; Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican all signed the letter detailing their concerns about exclusivity and the possible restrictions of consumer choice.

Later that week Copps said the FCC would open a proceeding that would review the industry's practice and said he has instructed the agency's bureau on competition to investigate.

This week a Wall Street Journal report claims that the Department of Justice is looking into the issue as well. While some reports say that the DOJ is targeting AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the Journal cites people familiar with the matter who say the Antitrust Division's review is in its very early stages and is not yet a formal probe of any specific company.

Could this be the end of switching networks just to get your hands on a certain device? Let's hope so.