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FCC will investigate cellphone unlocking ban, says chairman

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FCC Julius Genachowski Vox Media
FCC Julius Genachowski Vox Media

Earlier this year it became illegal in the United States to unlock a carrier-subsidized phone or tablet without prior authorization — but it looks like the Federal Communications Commission may not be so fond of the idea. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told TechCrunch that the FCC was in fact going to investigate the ban to see whether it has any harmful effects for consumers and competitors. Genachowski is quoted as saying that it "raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns." However, he reportedly wasn't entirely sure if the FCC would be able to intervene in any meaningful way in this instance — though it will be exploring its options. "It's something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones," he said.