The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Free Press Calls on FCC to Investigate Verizon Wireless for Blocking Google Wallet


On Tuesday, Free Press filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission, urging it to investigate Verizon Wireless for reportedly blocking the "Google Wallet" application on the Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

According to press reports, Verizon Wireless is limiting its subscribers' access to this third-party mobile payment application. This practice echoes similar Verizon Wireless restrictions on third-party applications that allow phones to be used as mobile hot spots. In June 2011, Free Press filed a complaint with the FCC about Verizon's blocking practices, citing violations of the conditions placed on the airwaves on which Verizon operates its service.

Free Press believes that Verizon Wireless may be denying subscribers' access to third-party mobile payment applications because it is part of a joint venture to develop its own mobile payment technology, called Isis.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

"It appears as though Verizon Wireless is abusing its power to act as a gatekeeper and blocking applications developed by competitors. If Verizon Wireless is restricting its subscribers from accessing such applications, it is breaking FCC rules and harming innovation in the process.

"The FCC cannot allow Verizon to continue to engage in these textbook examples of anti-competitive and anti-consumer behavior. It must enforce Verizon's existing license conditions and adopt real Net Neutrality rules that protect all wireless Internet users."

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

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