FCC considers banning exclusivity deals

22 Jun 2009

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it will review handset exclusivity packages following complaints that such deals damage competition. Last year a trade association called for deals that keep Apple’s iPhone and Palm’s Pre handset tied to a single operator to be banned, saying they damage competition by holding back smaller carriers operating in rural markets. Consumer groups have also complained about the deals, saying they deny rural communities access to the latest technology. Julius Genachowski, the Obama administration candidate to replace interim FCC chairman Michael Copps, said, ‘Yes, if confirmed [as chairman], I will ensure that the full record on the rural carriers’ complaint is reviewed, and act accordingly to promote competition and consumer choice.’ Mr Copps has reportedly already instructed FCC officials to begin an examination of exclusivity practices.