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NYT: AT&T, Verizon and GSMA are being investigated over eSIM

Richard Lawler
Everyone's favorite word "collusion" has arisen once again, as the New York

Everyone's favorite word "collusion" has arisen once again, as the New York Times cites multiple sources reporting that the Department of Justice is investigating AT&T, Verizon (owner of Engadget's parent company Oath) and the GSM Association (GSMA). According to the sources, the DoJ is looking for evidence that these parties worked together in an attempt to limit eSIM technology.

While it's supposed to let customers switch wireless carriers without changing out hardware SIM cards, the allegation is that AT&T and Verizon, which combine to cover some 70 percent of wireless subscribers, wanted the ability to lock devices on their network even if they have an eSIM. Harold Feld, a VP of the consumer protection group Public Knowledge, said he was briefed on a meeting last year where the two carriers pushed for device locking, with Verizon claiming it's needed to protect against theft and fraud.

Last year at Computex eSIM had a major coming out party and we'd hoped that would quickly carry over to more phones. Currently, it's mostly seen in wearables like the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear family, as well as Google's Pixel 2 phone (but only if you're using Project Fi) and Microsoft's Surface laptop.

New York Times

  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.