FreePress

For Immediate Release

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Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838

Free Press: Verizon Wireless App Blocking Hurts Consumers, Competition and Innovation

WASHINGTON - According to reports, Verizon Wireless is restricting consumers’ ability to download and use Google Wallet. New mobile payment systems such as Google’s offer consumers opportunities for flexible, fast and convenient transactions using their mobile devices. Verizon Wireless is reportedly limiting third-party mobile payment systems in an attempt to force its wireless subscribers to use only Verizon's technology.

This practice mirrors those adopted by Verizon Wireless and other carriers that block the use of third-party "tethering" applications, which Free Press contends violates the terms of Verizon's 4G spectrum licenses.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

“This is another disappointing move by Verizon Wireless that will prove harmful to consumers, competition and innovation. Verizon shows no hesitation in using its gatekeeper position over its subscribers to restrict or block applications that compete with its own offerings. Verizon should stop pressuring third parties, including its own business partners, into removing competing applications from consumers' hands. Verizon's actions restrict consumer choice, stifle competition and kill innovation – whether the application is a mobile payment system, offers a competing phone service, or allows you to use your phone as a mobile Internet hot spot.

“These actions illustrate yet again the grave mistake made by the FCC in failing to adopt meaningful consumer protections for mobile services in its Net Neutrality proceeding last year. Free Press will continue to fight for real Net Neutrality protections on the mobile Internet.”

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