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The following statement is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director for Public Knowledge:
“Earlier today, Verizon announced a policy of ending exclusive handset arrangements for wireless carriers with fewer than 500,000 customers after a period of six months.
“Verizon’s gesture should be seen for what it is – an inadequate attempt to influence legislation and regulation. It should not be up to Verizon to decide the terms and conditions under which consumers can have the benefit of wireless handset competition.
“Corporate charity as momentum builds for a policy that one company does not like is no substitute for legislation or regulation that treats all carriers, of whatever size, alike, and all consumers, of whatever size carrier, alike.
“Obviously Verizon’s gesture applies only to it, and to no other carriers. That situation is unacceptable. We urge the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice and Congress to pursue their inquiries into exclusive handset arrangements with the goal of eliminating the practice altogether.”