According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Justice Department has begun an initial review of the U.S. telecommunicaions industry. WSJ cites people familiar with the matter. It isn't clear whether the Department of Justice intends to launch an official inquiry.
In recent weeks, lawmakers and regulators have raised questions about deals such as AT&T's exclusive right to provide service for Apple's popular iPhone in the U.S. Verizon Communications may also be under scrutiny. The statute that governs such behavior – the Sherman Antitrust Act – was used by the government in cases against giants ranging from Standard Oil to Microsoft.
DOJ could explore several areas of concern, such as whether wireless carriers are hurting smaller competitors by locking up popular phones through exclusive agreements, as the Wall Street Journal reports.