Justice Department to review wireless carriers for anti-competitive practices

The DOJ is reviewing large American telecoms including ATT and Verizon over concerns the companies have abused the increasingly centralized market power they've gained in recent years, according to an item in the Wall Street Journal today:
The review of potential anti-competitive practices is in its very early stages, and it isn't a formal investigation of any specific company at this point, the people said. It isn't clear whether the agency intends to launch an official inquiry.

Among the areas the Justice Department could explore is whether wireless carriers are hurting smaller competitors by locking up popular phones through exclusive agreements with handset makers, according to the people. In recent weeks lawmakers and regulators have raised questions about deals such as AT&T's exclusive right to provide service for Apple Inc.'s popular iPhone in the U.S.

The Justice Department may also review whether telecom carriers are unduly restricting the types of services other companies can offer on their networks, one person familiar with the situation said.

DOJ Opens Review of Telecom Industry (WSJ.com)