The Department of Justice has closed an eSIM investigation involving AT&T, Verizon, and the GSMA trade group (via NYT).
The investigation began two years ago when the Justice Department examined whether AT&T, Verizon, and the trade group GSMA worked together to hinder the eSIM technology. This is an electronic SIM card that lets people easily switch wireless carriers without needing a physical SIM card.
The investigation found “no wrongdoing” and the three parties agreed to change how they determine eSIM standards. According to a letter [PDF] from the agency’s head of antitrust Makan Delrahim:
As a result of that investigation, the Department developed significant concerns that GSMA’s process was deeply flawed and enabled competitors to coordinate anticompetitively…The resulting set of procedures, AA.35, is meant to allay competition concerns by yielding standards that limit the design of RSP and eSIMs only to the extent it would be beneficial to the diverse group of interested parties in the mobile wireless industry…the Department has determined that it presently has no intention to challenge AA.35, if it goes into effect.