News by Michael Oryl on Wednesday September 10, 2008.
Yesterday the chairman of the U.S. Senate's antitrust panel sent a letter to AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile USA asking the four major U.S. carriers for the reasons behind the doubling in the price of text messages that has occurred over the past 3 years. Sen. Herb Kohl, the panel's chairperson, said the following in his letter:
"What is particularly alarming about this industrywide rate increase is that it does not appear to be justified by rising costs in delivering text messages. Text-messaging files are very small, as the size of text messages are generally limited to 160 characters per message, and therefore cost carriers very little to transmit."
"Also of concern is that it appears that each of companies has changed the price for text messaging at nearly the same time, with identical price increases. This conduct is hardly consistent with the vigorous price competition we hope to see in a competitive marketplace."
The senator has asked the carriers to explain how the costs of text messages have risen, and how they compare with the costs associated with voice calls and email messages. He has asked for a written explanation to be provided to him by the 6th of October.
Wow, the Senate is actually doing some form of work, amazing. Doubt anything will actually come out of this, though. Probably just some finger wagging.