Exclusivity and Competition

Last week I wrote a post saying that I view the exclusive contracts that carriers negotiate with handset manufacturers as anti-competitive. I really don't want to see the government wade into this market if there is another way to unwind this practice.

I just saw the news that Verizon is offering to cut is exclusive contracts to six months. This is clearly in response to the threat of government regulation and I hope that voluntary changes in the market like this will get us where we need to go.

The bottom line for me is we should work toward a market where any device can operate with any phone number on any network. That is the architecture that has made the internet such an unbelievable platform for innovation.

The mobile market, if set up properly, may have even greater potential for innovation. The only thing that is currently holding it back is that the business and technical architecture of mobile is based on closed systems and exclusive contracts. It feels like we are moving, slowly but surely, in the right direction. That's good to know as a user of mobile devices and as an investor in the mobile web.

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