U.S. Congress examines if exclusive phone contracts stifle competition

Lawmakers yesterday waded into a growing debate on whether the practice of locking in cellphones to exclusive contracts with only one carrier has led to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers and stifled competition in one of the economy’s brightest spots — the wireless industry.The Senate Commerce Committee met ahead of Apple’s debut tomorrow of its latest version of the iPhone. Critics say the company will once again irritate people who want the gadget but are not subscribers of the company’s exclusive partner, AT&T. A similar fate awaits those who want the Palm Pre phone but don’t subscribe to Sprint Nextel service, or the new phone running Google Android software and don’t get T-Mobile service.To read this report in The Washington Post in full, see:

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