Verizon Wireless 'Settles' With FCC For Blocking Tethering Apps It Was Moving Away From Blocking Anyway
from the sleight-of-hand dept
The FCC has now given Verizon Wireless a slap on the wrist, for blocking various tethering apps from the Android Market for Android-based Verizon Wireless phones. The company has agreed to pay $1.25 million and to no longer block those apps. Of course, as Karl Bode has noted, this probably isn't that big a deal to Verizon Wireless, since it had already been moving away from blocking such apps as it moved to its new "shared data plans." Bode wonders if this settlement may have been more for show as it gears up to approve an anti-competitive plan that Verizon is seeking to drive its DSL users to competing cable platforms:
In other words, the FCC took action and finally enforced 2008 rules when they knew Verizon was already changing their ways -- without FCC involvement. Meanwhile, the FCC is rumored to be ready to sign off on Verizon's marketing relationship with the cable industry, despite the serious anti-competitive and coverage issues that deal raises. This tethering ruling could be a way to pretend to appear "pro consumery" before approving the Verizon cable deal.I'm not sure the FCC is going that far, but perhaps that's part of the problem. The FCC never seems to want to go very far at all, always seeking to not offend anyone, with the end result being that the telcos almost always get their way in the long run.