Now, I’m no expert in anti-trust legal affairs, but doesn’t the cell phone industry with their exclusive contracts and back room deals smell of monopoly-esque activity? Like, for instance, Apple and AT&T’s exclusive deal for the wireless carrier to be the sole provider of service for the iPhone. Isn’t that akin to Ford or GM saying only BP or Mobile gasoline will run their cars? That sad thing, though, is we’ve come to accept these exclusive wireless deals. But why? ran an article on this topic a couple days ago:

Lashing out at the wireless carrier cadre, Walt Mossberg says that the United States federal government has been duped into allowing AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and others to lock consumers into terms unprecedented by any other industry.The problem lies in two areas: the US government did not set up a wireless standard when it needed to a few years ago, so there are two competing networks: CDMA and GSM. This means that switching to a new provider often requires a new, compatible phone. Second, the government allows the GSM carriers to ‘lock’ their phones, “so a SIM card from a rival carrier won’t work in them, at least for a period of time.”

Mossberg argues that lifting these restrictions and standardizing the network would result in cheaper, unsubsidized phones and the elimination of draconian contract cancellation fees.