The Justice Department has begun an antitrust investigation into whether AT&T and Verizon colluded to block people using eSims, the technology that makes it easier for people to switch wireless carriers, according to this New York Times report. It’s a big deal. The technology is supported by tech firms like Apple and Google—it’s in Google’s Pixel 2 phone, for instance. But AT&T and Verizon are accused of working with the mobile industry standards group to establish standards that would render the eSim technology redundant.
What makes the investigation particularly interesting is that news of it comes amid trial proceedings for the DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit against AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner. It’s hard not to imagine that wariness of AT&T’s intentions are likely to be fuelled by the two ongoing issues.