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Verizon caught red-handed in violation of FCC openness regulation

Verizon has now on multiple occasions refused to connect my Google Nexus 7 LTE tablet, though the device was publicized widely as working on Verizon and though I know from other users that it will work on its network. On Twitter, its support spokesman said in response to my repeated inquiries over four days:

@jeffjarvis I'm excited you got your Nexus 7 but not all LTE tablets are created equal. It's not part of our line up & can't be activated^JH
— VZW Support (@VZWSupport) September 17, 2013

Verizon is thus clearly violating FCC regulations governing its acquisition of the spectrum that enables its LTE service, which require it to open to all devices. To quote from the regulations (my emphasis):

(b) Use of devices and applications. Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee’s C Block network, except:
(1) Insofar as such use would not be compliant with published technical standards reasonably necessary for the management or protection of the licensee’s network, or
(2) As required to comply with statute or applicable government regulation.

Verizon also violates its promise not to violate that requirement. On May 7, 2008, Ars Technica quotes Verizon VP Jim Gerace saying on the company’s public policy blog:

“Verizon Wireless—and all the other participants in the recent 700 MHz spectrum auction—understood the FCC’s rules for using that spectrum in advance of the auction. Of course we’ll abide by those rules.”

I attempted to read the rest of Gerace’s blog post but Verizon has erased years of its posts there and the Wayback Machine does not have a cache from that date.

This promise came in response to a tough letter from Google at the time demanding that Verizon abide by the rule. Said Google: “The Commission must ensure that Verizon understands that this license obligation means what it says: Any Apps, Any Devices.”

And no wonder, for Google anticipated precisely this situation when it entered the spectrum auction Verizon won and insisted then on open access as an FCC condition of the sale: Google ended up marketing an unlocked device made to run on Verizon’s LTE network and now Verizon refuses to honor its promise to abide by the rules of its auction to do so.

On Twitter and Google+, many have asked why I bother, why I don’t just install the T-Mobile SIM and month’s free access that came with the Nexus 7 LTE. A few reasons: First, I am stuck with a shared-data plan on Verizon thanks to my locked (how could you, Google?!) Chromebook Pixel with LTE and my family’s Verizon iPads. Second, adding the Nexus 7 to my shared-data plan will cost me only $10 more a month, less than I’ll play if I support it solo on another carrier’s network. Third, this is a matter of principle. I will bring my Dell Hell experience to bear and fight for what is right.

Some also caution that on the Verizon network, my Nexus 7 will connect only if LTE is available; it will not be able to fail down to slower speeds as it could on other networks. True; that is how my Chromebook Pixel works and I am willing to live with the limitation for the price.

It has also been pointed out to me across social media that one can take a Verizon SIM from another LTE device, put it in the Nexus 7, and it will work. Only problems are, I don’t have such a SIM and if I did I’d need to use it in that other device. But this does prove — as others have done it — that the Nexus 7 does work on Verizon’s network.

So this is not a matter of anything Verizon cannot do. This is a matter of what Verizon will not do. And that is what makes this a violation of FCC regulations and Verizon’s assurances.

I have frequently asked Verizon for its help on Twitter and Google+ and in its store and via phone to Verizon Wireless via a representative in that store; you see the net of that above: a smart-assed refusal to take my money. I tried many avenues before writing this post.

I have twice asked Verizon Wireless’ director of PR for devices, Albert Aydin (@VZWalbert) for a company statement on why it refuses to connect the Nexus 7 and I have heard nothing. I do so as a journalist and also as a member of the public (I take the title “public relations” literally). I will email this post to him once more asking for the company’s statement.

I will also ask Google PR for its stand regarding Verizon’s violation of its assurances to the FCC and Google. Back in 2008, Verizon said: “As we work to put the spectrum we won to good use, if Google or anybody else has evidence that we aren’t playing by the rules, there are legitimate and expedited ways to address that.” Yes, like blogs, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, This Week in Google, and angry customers everywhere.

This post with links:
Seth Goldstein's profile photoRebecca Hinckley's profile photoIrish Jester's profile photoMatt Jamison's profile photo
Thank you for posting this, Jeff! After the same frustrating experience this morning I'm glad to see you looking into this in more detail. I'm not as stuck as you are, but I am going to have to pay an ETF on an old Verizon contract since Verizon refuses to activate my Nexus 7 LTE too.
+Jeff Jarvis sometimes I think you are overly cranky and mean. And sometimes I think you are a godsend. People with influence have a responsibility to use it on behalf of the many who don't. Go get 'em! 
Brad More
Frankly, +Jeff Jarvis  is not the guy I'd want to piss off over this. One hopes the weenies at Verizon see the light and respond appropriately and with deference to (ahem) one's social reach, shall we say?
tl;dr:  A dissatisfied customer of a large corporation refuses to stop buying stuff from them because apathy > dissatisfaction.
Gurrrrrrrr, go getem jeff!
keep fighting the good fight, sir.

remind me not to leave t-mo anytime soon. they might not have big red's massive coverage but it's been very easy to get unlocked devices up and running.
No, +Linton Rentfro, if we don't fight for our rights with said corporations, they will walk over us. That's hardly apathy. 
Good job posting about this +Jeff Jarvis !

To agree (and expand) on your thoughts:
1. There's no requirement for them to allow you to add a device to the share anything plan -- but the dummies are too stupid to think to make that argument. This is kind of like the earliest "unlimited" plans of Sprint that were anything but unlimited...
2. Because of how LTE on Verizon works (where you don't have CDMA to fall back on), you might have horrible data rates because the network detects performance is subpar. Remember when analog tv signals were weak but you could still see something and now with digital if its weak you get nothing? Same deal, except because it's two-way data, they could argue that inability to fall back will result in people without CDMA compatibility causing congestion to other subscribers because bad data packets have to be retransmitted. 

Again, I agree with you, but I'd bet the only chance of this changing is public shaming. The regulations are more than loose enough to argue either of the two points I've expanded on as exceptions under point one of your quote.

Good luck and keep us posted! #HeyNow   #Bababooey  
+Jeff Jarvis, that statement works if your efforts change Verizon and if "fighting" wasn't easier than leaving them.
Take this issue into one of your articles that is published by other publishing companies and bring this issue out into the open. 
One more reason for me to leave Verizon. 
Bravo +Jeff Jarvis a good rant for today!!! Even though a bit early for this week in google. I certainly hope you emerge victorious.
An indignant social media post won't change anything so fast or so much as a righteous class-action suit. Just sayin'. 
+elvis dallas If that were the case, then why would Google advertise that it works on Verizon. I hate to say the obvious but: Google's no dummy. 
+Jeff Jarvis Bang this particular drum very hard indeed, it's merely one example of a extremely problematic (and unlawful) general policy.
Verizon will screw you specially when they're the only carrier in your area
Go get em Jeff , you da man
That's why I'll put my SIM card attached to a unlimited data plan right in front of them. 
Fighting to make Verizon obey the rules they agreed to is good. But in the meantime you can also take your business elsewhere. Considering how often I come across unhappy Verizon customers who look longingly at T-Mobile prices I suspect Verizon has some Sprint level customer defection in its future.
it seems a prime example of a #firstworldproblem but alas these are real as well ;) 
I do wonder though why your Chromebook Pixel LTE has a vendor lock?
Excellent post. I hope Google, Verizon, and the FCC can get back on the same page. 
You are da man Jeff. Thank you for fighting the good fight.
So, Yesterday you complained about Google but if they are correct that the device technically will work on Verizon, are they wrong, other then not asking them why they aren't allowing it, if it does work?

Is there no regulating body you can contact to complain? 
+Google has the same issue with Verizon blocking +Google Wallet from their Android devices. Hope the latest update fixes it. But my friend had the same issue with his Nexus 7 LTE tablet on Verizon.

I would go with T-Mobile, personally. 
+Max Huijgen I realize your first world problem mention was partly in jest. However, it is worth noting that this is important. The issue is whether or not Verizon is above the law. They think they are. Hopefully Jeff will make them learn otherwise.
Verizon is in court to overturn the net neutrality rules. They're expected to win. So, they tell Jeff Jarvis what Tom Friedman told Iraq a decade ago. 

Question is whether we, the people, are going to stand for it. Are we? 
Google Play listing for LTE version just changed.  Now lists three different SKU's - one for AT&T, one for T-Mobile, and one for carrier unlocked.
Brian C
+elvis dallas The regulations provide two exceptions to the openness requirement, which +Jeff Jarvis quoted. If the device complies with published standards and government regs, the carrier must comply with the reg. There is no "the OEM didn't pay us off" exception.
Dump Verizon.  Threaten to move your entire family to another carrier.  A rep will probably activate you.
Oh how I wish I could warch TWiG live tomorrow. 
Keep your foot on their throat! Don't let up! This can not stand!!!!
Try David Boies @ Boies, Schiller & Flexner

Verizon has Lost in Federal Count Before & has a Civil Conviction
Record. I knew the guy who won the case. As far as I know the Felony still stands.
Another Avenue is Eli Noam @ Columbia
Paul Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Business Responsibility
Finance and Economics

Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

Sean M
Thank you for championing this cause! I do not appreciate Verizon's disregard for the law and the market (in general). 
They are too busy buying politicians to change the law to be bothered to adhere to current law.

Net Neutrality, anyone?
Give them hell +Jeff Jarvis!!

Could the reason it "won't" work is maybe Google isn't cutting them in on the action? 
You are making me feel good about the decision to move everything to T-Mobile.  Think I'll stay there. 
+Jeff Jarvis I've gotten the +T-Mobile social media reps to both confirm and deny a data throttle in the same conversation. Assume social media is a stupid way to deal with carriers, because you will usually get a wrong answer.
And this is why I love +Jeff Jarvis keep up the good fight ,and let's raise some hell,eh:)
Well said Jeff. I agree with all of it. We all know that verizon has been holding on tight to the fact that they don't currently run voice over LTE, so those open access provisions mean nothing for phones since people need the CDMA network for voice today and that network has no open access restrictions. But, when you bring a modern, data only device like the N7 to VZ, they should absolutely have to honor the rules that came with the public's lease of spectrum to them. Please be sure to complain to the FCC about this as well. VZ has to comply if we complain or they lose the spectrum. Well done. 
Thanks. Note that Verizon PR still won't respond to me. And does it really take them months to "certify" a device? This is a surprise? Or another lie? I report. You decide. 
+Jeff Jarvis Now if only they would allow the Nexus 7 LTE and allow full Google wallet usage. 
+Jeff Jarvis I can't imagine that this is a case of Google dragging its heels getting certified, this has to be unreasonable Verizon requirements which Google just can't accept on a Nexus device.
+Vance McAlister seeing how hesitant Google has been about making sure they roll out updates to their phones I'm not so sure.

Heck kitKat is basically a realization to work around the carriers ... they don't seem to have a spine to stand up with (I love Google, but really).
+Jeff Jarvis Thank You.  This situation doesn't affect me but the more data carriers like Verizon understand that some of their users actually understand technology and know when they are lying, the better for everyone.
+Justin King  Right, it is those type of issues with Verizon (all Verizon's doing) that Google might be resisting, thus not getting certified. I would like to think that Google is fighting the good fight against those "certification" restrictions so that the N7 can remain a true Nexus device.  All speculation, of course.
+eric susch Again on more assumptions. If you're going to assume, you'd be better off assuming incompetence rather than malicious intent. But it's popular and trendy today to assume everyone's evil.
+Jake Weisz  We know from past experience that Verizon makes it nearly impossible to get a true Nexus device (ie, free from all Verizon apps, branding, and various app restrictions) and that Google has been upset about this.  Verizon wants lock-down control over the phones on their system, more so than some of the other carriers.
+Justin King until Google buys spectrum and has their own network they will always be at the mercy of any carrier.
+Vance McAlister So they're blatantly violating a government ruling just to spite you, rather than the far more likely case that they simply don't have an "other device" checkbox in their system when activating a tablet?

Internet nerds are getting more and more moronic with every passing day, I swear.
+Jake Weisz First, Incompetence v. malicious intent is a false choice. In my experience they most often happen together. Each feeds the other. Second, I never accused anyone of either so why are you responding to me?
Thank you for bringing this matter to the public's attention. Hopefully the FCC will look into this matter.
+eric susch Your comment above (18 minutes ago) specifically accuses Verizon of lying. When in actuality, I would almost guarantee you that none of the marketing, public relations, or customer service folks quoted have a clue what they're talking about.
Oh, come, +Jake Weisz, they have had months to figure this out. I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if they'd said, "Oh, oops, sorry, Mr. Customer, we'll fix that now." But they didn't. They said, "Fuck you, Mr. Customer, we won't do what you want and what you have a legal right to do." 
+Jeff Jarvis Can you confirm that Google gave them a pre-release Nexus 7 months ago for the purposes of certification?

Let's go with the evidence, buddy.
I think verizon is actually set the bar of how they are going to handle LTE only devices they aren't selling. Since LTE is a GSM technology, once they turn on Voice over LTE, nothing other than this kind of crap is going to keep people from buying phones off contract and just switching the SIM, which to Verizon's credit, they are trying to protect their network and maintain ‘user satisfaction’ from a sudden influx of devices that will affect everyone, as well as them not being able to support all the different devices. As others have stated they want to control everything, that includes support. I believe that is why they passed on the iPhone the first time. They didn’t want to play ball with Apple handling the support. I would think Verizon would jump at the option for others to deal with supporting the phones, while they still may still get customers yelling at them, that is no difference than what they are getting now. Except they can come back with ‘we don’t support this device and you need to goto the hardware vendor.’ 
What you got, was a clueless customer service rep (or several) telling you everything that they know: Which is not much. Aka: "There is no box here for 'activate random other not-listed device'".
+Jake Weisz That's what I got at the store Saturday. But that's not what I got from the official support today -- more than once. They downright refuse to connect it and then try to sell me other tablets. That is bullshit. Full stop. 
+Jake Weisz I am not sure what you are talking about with a "checkbox".  Each device on Verizon's shelves has to be certified by Verizon for their network.  What Verizon is saying is that the Nexus 7 has not been certified.  That could possibly be because Google has just been negligent in going through the process of getting it certified, but that is LESS likely than Google finding the certification requirements unreasonable and refusing to abide by them.  There is obviously some head-butting going on between the two since Google announced Verizon as a release partner at the very beginning.  Now, it is not certified, but would have been by now if there was no "issue".  If there is an issue between them, it is much more likely that Verizon is the bad actor, not Google. 
+Jake Weisz Who says they certify? They are obligated to take any LTE device. Just as in Europe, we should get a sim and pop it in. Period. Do you work for a telco?
+Jeff Jarvis They have a right to check a device for network issues. It's entirely within their FCC obligations to do so. They refuse to connect it, because they see no entry for it in their system, and the people you're talking to don't know how to do anything else but the list of instructions their employer gives them. It's not this malicious evil conspiracy you make it out to be.

No, I don't work for a telco. I'm often accused of it though, because I'm a sysadmin. I'm intelligent enough to see how various tiers of employees and users interact on systems. So I realize how these things work, and am not a mindless Internet ragemonster. I've found the accusation "you must work for them" crops up a lot when someone has no intelligent arguments to respond with.

+Vance McAlister You vastly underestimate Google's ability (and willingness) to be the bad actor. Including using a release, with Verizon's logo, without their permission, in an attempt to strongarm Verizon into violating their procedures and policies.
Keep in mind that Verizon itself has now OFFICIALLY said that the Nexus 7 is not yet a certified device.  That raises two questions:

1. Can they insist that a device meet their certification requirements before allowing it on their network under the FCC rules?

2. If so, what type of "reasonableness" standards apply to such a certification?

I don't know the answers to those questions, but +Philip Henely 's post above explains why Verizon wants that control.  Verizon getting their way in this type of struggle is not good for us, the customer, that is the bottom line.
+Vance McAlister FCC regulations have a clear allowance for things the carrier needs to do to ensure network stability.
+Jake Weisz they aren't just obligated for devices they have a check box for. They're obligated to accept all compatible devices.

If they're too incompetent to manage the portion of the publicly owned spectrum they were allowed then it should be taken away from them so it can be used by someone who knows what they're doing
+Jake Weisz Yes, and the question is whether the stuff Verizon requires for certification is strictly limited to those limited issues. I seriously doubt that.
+Kevin Hughes Right. Because T-Mobile has demonstrated it knows how to run a carrier. Heh.

Their tech people have to get the device and check it out. They care about the majority of their customers receiving quality service over the tiny subset of Internet nerds who will rage about one device not working the first week it's out.
+Jake Weisz T-Mobile is a great carrier. But keep up the Karl Rove style implied insults. Shows what kind of person you are. You're more interested in insults.

Bottom line, Verizon fails to live up to obligations it agreed to. Further it refuses to accept an FCC certified compatible device. If its systems can't handle a LTE device then its commercials advertising LTE are false advertising
+Kevin Hughes Incorrect again. FCC regulations give them leeway for network stability assurances. You can make up as much as you want and accuse as much as you want, but you're still wrong.
+Jake Weisz  And basically, you are trusting that Verizon's requirements are strictly limited to the minimum necessary to assure network stability?  That would not fit Verizon's MO whatsoever, and is a bit naive. 
Just wandering if this is the Google version wireless net neutrality deal coming back and biting Google back in the rear?
In fairness, FCC testing has nothing whatsoever to do with LTE certification. Don't mix those up, no matter how bad this makes Verizon look. 
C'mon +Jake Weisz, with and company the size of Verizon, if you want to understand the follow the money. They don't want +Jeff Jarvis's $10, they want new, full contracts. It is completely within their interest to discourage off contract device purchases. When they sell competing devices and make money off of everything from the bloatware to the contract itself, of course they will stonewall the competition to the degree that they are allowed. Especially if that competition is technologically compatible with their system. It doesn't take 2 months to certify a phone or ROM upgrade, it takes 2 months to let as many customers as possible get frustrated with their outdated device so they will impatiently upgrade. This isn't a tech issue and isn't the wheelhouse of a sysadmin,  this is data driven, marketing driven, and greed driven. These decisions are made well above your pay grade, and you, sir, are the one who is being naive. +Jeff Jarvis  has a legitimate beef here.
Shawn, they'd love the extra $10, because adding a device without data adds little to their overhead costs. But they care less about certifying a device right away they make no money from that's only desired by an incredibly small percentage of their customer base. And they'd rather be comfortable that the other 99.9% of their customers have quality service.

You'd be amazed how long it takes to certify anything in any business. Certification is the definition of bureaucracy. Dotting all the Is and crossing all the Ts.
+Jake Weisz they would be adding a device with ONLY data. It is all overhead and bandwidth consumption without the financial balance of their partnership deals.

Verizon is the definition of bureaucracy, and I believe is intentionally hiding behind that bureaucracy in this case. A company with Verizon's resources could certify a device over night if a strong enough business case could be made.
+Josh Hamilton try your district attorney and state attorney. Sounds like deceptive business practices to me if you can prove what they did, which with all this publicity, you can.

They may not respond to the individual but they WILL respond to a state inquiry.
+Ian Thomas Wonder how many people realize this may actually be false advertising on Google's part. Advertising Verizon support without having it. But Google can do no wrong, everyone knows that.
+Jake Weisz it 'could' be but I doubt it. Also as far as trusting a person or business goes, I have more trust in strangers than I do Verizon.

In either case, a response from someone explaining the situation is required and as they seem uninterested in doing that... a DA or SA can easily corner either company into talking.
+Ian Thomas Google prominently advertised this device working on Verizon. I would doubt Google made a mistake in getting ducks in a row. So they likely sold this knowing it wouldn't work as advertised, in an attempt to strongarm Verizon, perhaps.

So they took money from +Jeff Jarvis for a device that they likely knew wouldn't be usable as advertised.

I'm just saying, the case could be easily made. But you all are focused on finding reasons to hate Verizon. (Which Google knows, meaning they can get away with it.)

Remember, Google overengineers everything. Flubs like this don't just happen to products they launch.
Verizon is legally required to activate this device. Google can't have anticipated that Verizon would be breaking the law.
+Tim Dean No its not. I hope you have a law degree to back the claim though.
Unfortunately, I don't think that Verizon Wireless really cares what anybody thinks.  They are just like any of the other large wireless providers.  It was a mistake to allow the bell companies to get involved in the wireless market.
Any device already certified by the FCC shouldn't need additional certification from the carrier [PERIOD]

Have we forgotten about the 1968 FCC Carterfone decision: The medium has changed, the players have slightly changed but the principle is the same. This decision needs to be revisited and reaffirmed, because, for a long time wireless carriers have held that the decision doesn't apply to them.

- Auto manufactures don't prevent you from using your choice of DOT certified tire.
- Cable companies don't stop you from using your FCC certified TV of choice.
- If you have a landline from Verizon, they can't stop you plugging-in an FCC certified telephone of your choice.
+Jake Weisz you just don't get it, do you? This argument isn't about technician limitations... It's a lot bigger than that.
He gets it. He is just trolling for responses and wants equal hate on Google for something they can't control.

If Google is to blame i am totally open to hating on them for messing up but all roads point to Verizon.
+tobby o The point is, that for the various sales reps that told him no, it is about technical limitations. And as Verizon has also stated, it will work on getting the device through their process. It takes roughly a month from start to finish, which you can find in their documentation about their certification process.

+Ian Thomas Google released the device, Google's responsible for ensuring it is usable as advertised. The evidence points to Google, your bias points to Verizon.
+Jake Weisz you still don't get it. I'm questioning why there's a need for additional "certification" on top of FCC certification. The Nexus 7 doesn't have CDMA radios and thus doesn't need to be added to the DMD and given an ESN, All provisioning should be done on the SIM and not the device. GSM figured this out 20 years ago.

This is not a technical limitation, it's a bureaucratic hurdle put in place to hinder the "bring your own device" movement. There are reasons for this; some could be legitimate and but others downright anticompetitive. 
+tobby o Verizon feels the need to certify devices themselves (as does AT&T and Sprint, for that matter), and they have the legal ability to do so. In addition, Verizon reps have confirmed that their point-of-sale system literally prohibits them from activating a SIM without an approved device's IMEI number. Just because GSM doesn't require it, doesn't mean Verizon doesn't require it. And again, they're entitled to require it. And yes, it's a technical limitation for the sales reps, because their software TECHNICALLY prohibits them from doing it.
"Verizon feels the need to certify devices themselves and they have the legal ability to so."

Now ask yourself why? This is an exercise in critical thinking.

The argument is Verizon (or any other carrier) shouldn't require a 3GPP compliant device certified by the FCC to go through additional certification to be on their network even if they're feel entitled to certify each device.
+tobby o Why not? Does the government know Verizon networks better than Verizon? Does the government, heck, know hardware better than Verizon? It doesn't cost the government anything if their testing sucks. But if Verizon has problems with a device, it's going to cost them a lot of money, support time, and reputation. Verizon has a vested interest in making sure stuff it puts on its network doesn't mess it up. The government doesn't share that vested interest.
Standards are created by governmental bodies, research labs and industry players for device-network interoperability.

FCC certification is just to make sure everyone is operating within spec.

If Verizon had a problem with an LTE device, other LTE carriers operating on the same channel/band should experience the same problem as well.
I was considering buying a Nexus 7 and using it on Verizon. Thanks +Jeff Jarvis for exposing this.
It appears obvious that Verizon is in violation of its FCC agreement here, both literally and in spirit.  What if they were fined $100 million per day for these transgressions, plus had their 700 MHz license revoked?  Would they hear us then?
+Jake Weisz Actually I did not “specifically accuse Verizon of lying” as you put it.  I realize that responding to everyone on this thread hour, after hour, after hour is quite a bit of work, but you should read what people post more carefully before you respond.  I said “…the more data carriers like Verizon understand that some of their users actually understand technology and know when they are lying, the better for everyone." I’m referencing data carriers in general with the point being that not all users are technology illiterate. Hope this clears that up for you.
I ended up taking the SIM from my Verizon Xoom and trimmed it down as it's a larger form factor.  I was going to drive to the store and get a new SIM but I am glad I didn't.  I had no issues switching it other than the Account management website still shows the Xoom.
Meh, it's their network, right? Can't they allow or deny whatever devices they please?
Not when the network runs on a scarce resource. They made an agreement to act in the public interest in certain ways because by allocating spectrum, the FCC creates a de-facto trust. Only a small number of companies can use the available spectrum, so if they're not hobbled they would quickly abuse their position as a monopoly.
How would they abuse their position? If they anger and frustrate their customers, won't the people just take their business elsewhere?
I totally agree Jeff. Good on you for reporting them. The whole "certification process" they have for an open standard is crazy and false.
I'm really sorry you're having to deal with this! +Jeff Jarvis  Still, though, with bullying being such a popular topic, you are exposing the giants!
+Michael R Ponicki A monopoly or oligopoly business means the customer has no choice or very little choice in choosing an alternative company to do business with. When one, or just a handful of companies are all that serves a specific sector or industry, then there is great potential for the customer to be abused because they have no alternative to purchase the product/service elsewhere. Leaving prices & business models up to business directors instead of being influenced by natural market forces which usually sets prices & business/service/product models

Ever notice how the handful of carriers nearly always follow suit with one another in everything from pricing, sales, business model, etc? The same practice happens in the cable industry.

And, monopoly or oligopoly controlled industries can even operate some services pricec at a loss for a time, ensuring they outlast & squash any smaller competitors who can't sell services at a loss for any extended time. Ensuring these smaller competitors get driven out.
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