At Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee hearing, Klobuchar raises concerns about the potential impacts of further consolidation in the wireless market
Klobuchar, who chairs the Antitrust Subcommittee, also discussed legislation she recently introduced to crack down on cell phone thefts by requiring a “kill switch” on smartphones
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today pressed the wireless industry to expand choices and keep prices low for consumers across the country. At a Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee hearing with representatives from the wireless industry and other experts, Klobuchar raised concerns about the potential impacts of further consolidation in the wireless market. Klobuchar, who chairs the Antitrust Subcommittee, also discussed legislation she recently introduced to help crack down on cell phone thefts by requiring a “kill switch” on smartphones.
“Robust competition in the wireless marketplace helps expand choices and keep prices low for consumers, and any further consolidation in the wireless market should be intensely scrutinized,” Klobuchar said. “With more and more Americans relying on cell phones to conduct their everyday lives, we need to make sure that demand is met and that consumers get the products and services they are calling for, including increased speeds, new handset devices, and the latest security features, such as a ‘kill switch’ type technology to protect their information and deter thieves.”
Witnesses at today’s hearing included: Eric Graham, Senior Vice President, Strategic Relations, C Spire Wireless; Roslyn Layton, Ph.D. Fellow, Center for Communication, Media and Information Technologies; Randal S. Milch, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Verizon Communications Inc.; Jonathan Spalter, Chair, Mobile Future; Kathleen O’Brien Ham, Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs, T-Mobile USA, Inc.; and Matthew F. Wood, Policy Director, Free Press.
The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act, which is supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders including the Major Cities Chiefs Association, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, and Consumers Union, would require a “kill switch” on smartphones to help protect consumers and deter thieves. The legislation empowers victims of cell phone theft with the decision to keep their information private by wiping away personally identifiable information from their device and rendering the phone inoperable to thieves. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Mikulski, Blumenthal and Hirono.