Wireless service giants AT&T and Verizon may be blocking other companies' devices and applications to defeat potential competition. Business Week reports that a discount international cell phone service, a wireless banking service, and PayPal, trying to bring its online payment service to wireless, were all obstructed by one or more of the major carriers.
"We don't need to provide special access to our customers and network to a company that's in direct competition." a Verizon spokesman said. The dispute involves so-called short codes, which lets cell-phone users access special services, like sports scores—or numbers for cheap international calls. The big carriers say they can can legally reject short code applications to keep competitors off their networks.