As two presidential candidates rail against the Washington "establishment," a member of that elite group has raised some issues about how wireless carriers make money. Specifically, Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Herb Kohl thinks there's a correlation between rising text messaging rates and decreased wireless competition and he wants the carriers to explain themselves.
Kohl, who chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights sent letters to top execs at Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile asking them to justify the "sharply rising rates" they charge to send and receive text messages.
Kohl, who apparently doesn't oversee gas prices and isn't concerned with cable rates, expressed particular angst that all four carriers seem to have adopted identical price increases in a short time frame, writing in the letter that this conduct "is hardly consistent with the vigorous price competition we hope to see in a competitive marketplace." Ironically, Kohl's interest sprang up at the same time European Commission regulators threatened to impose a cap on roaming fees for text messages sent to Europeans traveling outside their home nations.
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