Communications watchdog calls for probe into Verizon blocking of Google Wallet

Communications watchdog calls for probe into Verizon blocking of Google Wallet

Free Press, an independent US watchdog promoting open access to communications, has called on the Federal Communications Commission to investigate Verizon Wireless for reportedly blocking the Google Wallet application on the Galaxy Nexus smartphone

Earlier this month Verzizon Wireless confirmed reports that it had demanded that Google disable its mobile wallet app in the forthcoming release of the latest smartphone from Samsung, citing 'security' concerns.

Verizon - the number one carrier in the US - is a member of the Isis consortium, which is planning to launch its own mobile wallet service next year.

Free Press charges that Verizon's action echoes similar restrictions placed by the carrrier on third-party applications that allow phones to be used as mobile hot spots. In June 2011, the campaigning organisation filed a complaint with the FCC about Verizon's alleged blocking practices, citing violations of the conditions placed on the airwaves on which Verizon operates its service.

Free Press policy director Matt Wood argues that in restricting its subscribers from accessing third party applications such as Google Wallet, Verizon 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," he says. "It must enforce Verizon's existing license conditions and adopt real Net Neutrality rules that protect all wireless Internet users."

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