Verizon Pre-Vents a Monopoly

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What was once a rumor has now been confirmed: Verizon's (NYSE: VZ  ) wireless business unit will begin carrying Palm's (Nasdaq: PALM  ) Pre smartphone in early 2010.

"You can expect to see a steady stream of attractive devices coming from Verizon wireless," said President and Chief Operating Officer Denny Strigl during Monday's conference call with investors. "For example, we launched the Blackberry Tour on July 12. We plan to refresh the Storm later this year. Android is on our roadmap. We have Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) devices that are coming, and we plan to offer the Palm Pre early next year, and we have continued excellent relationship with LG and Samsung." [Emphasis added.]

Congress must be thrilled. In recent weeks, lawmakers have expressed concerns that exclusive deals reduce competition and hurt smaller carriers.

On Friday, CEO Lowell McAdam told members that his company's network is opening up by allowing the little guys to offer phones intended exclusively for its network. The catch? The phones must have been available through Verizon for six months first, reports.

And now, Verizon is cutting in on Sprint Nextel's (NYSE: S  ) exclusive deal for the Pre. The carrier shows every sign of wanting to cooperate with lawmakers.

I'm not expecting AT&T (NYSE: T  ) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) to follow suit. Nor do I expect Verizon to stop taking exclusive deals when it can. But there is the hint of a movement here, initiated in part by a more activist Congress.

Put differently: The Pre is probably just the prelude.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is sleeping well, thank you.

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2009, at 5:09 PM, plange01 wrote:

    google really blew it with its phone coming out far to late! the only actual product they had and its a failure before its on the market...better if they quietly just left it off .....

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2009, at 5:43 PM, TheWaterBug wrote:


    How do you come to the conclusion that the Palm/Verizon deal is the result of pressure from Congress?

    I think it's far more likely to pressure from the free market.

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2009, at 6:24 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    Hello TheWaterBug,

    Thanks for writing. I don't meant to suggest the deal is the result of pressure from Congress, but rather is pleasing to lawmakers who are getting cockeyed about exclusive deals. My apologies for the confusion.

    Foolish best,

    Tim (TMFMileHigh and @milehighfool on Twitter)

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