Thanks to recent acquisitions, both Verizon Wireless and AT&T may be under the Department of Justice's spotlight for potential antitrust behavior. In a move somewhat reminiscent of the Ma Bell days, the DOJ is specifically investigating hardware exclusivity and third-party restrictions that are presently offered on the carrier's networks. While the companies aren't specifically mentioned by name, it is assumed that Verizon and AT&T will be targeted, due to their size in comparison to other, smaller carriers.
Both carriers claim to have received no notice of any impending investigation, so it's in the early stages, to say the least. It all goes back to one of the main arguments: would you rather have carriers abolish contracts and charge full retail price for all of their devices, or are contracts and subsidies a smarter option?
Source: Engadget Mobile