Senator Asks Carriers To Justify Crazy SMS Rates
Tired of ridiculously overpriced data rates for SMS messages? Me too. Luckily we’re not alone. US Senator and head of the Antitrust Committee Herb Kohl thinks there’s something fishy going on with how much SMS text messages are being priced, and he’s doing something about it. On Wednesday he submitted an open letter to the heads of all four major wireless carriers in the US giving them the opportunity to justify what appears to be unnecessarily high fees.
He notes that the price of messages not included in a plan have doubled on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint since 2005, where the cost of sending them should have either remained the same or declined since then, suggesting that the raise in price is just their attempt to inflate profits.
He also hinted at the possibility that the companies have a monopoly on the SMS text message market and are working in collusion with each other to raise their prices without competitive repercussion, pointing out that the most recent price change in Fall to $0.20 per message happened on all four carriers at roughly the same time.
“This conduct is hardly consistent with the vigorous price competition we hope to see in a competitive marketplace,” he says.
The Senator’s plan involves asking each company to justify the price increase in comparison to the changes (or lack thereof) in comparison to their other data rates for things like voice and email.
Carriers have been given until October 6th to make their case. Not surprisingly, they have yet to comment.