A federal appeals court has reversed a lower decision and said an antitrust lawsuit against a group of Baby Bells can proceed. The suit alleges that Verizon, BellSouth, SBC and Qwest conspired to not compete against each other in their home markets to discourage competition from smaller rivals and to keep prices of local phone and internet service high. This isn't the first time something like this has been alleged against the companies, with some ISPs saying SBC manipulated the wholesale DSL market in California, and another saying Verizon had provided bad service to a CLEC it was forced to open its lines to. Competition in telecommunications services really hasn't panned out the way most consumers had hoped over the last several years, and with incumbent telcos leaning on legislative and regulatory bodies to make things easier, consumers' only redress may be through the courts.
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