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FCC Chairman voices 'concerns' about US phone unlocking ban, says he'll look into it

Sharif Sakr

Bad news travels fast, so by now many US phone buyers ought to know about this country's depressing u-turn on phone unlocking. The latest policy -- which makes it illegal to unlock a phone without a carrier's permission -- looks to be set in stone for at least three years, but that isn't stopping people in high places from voicing serious reservations about it. The latest to pipe up is FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who told TechCrunch that the "ban raises competition concerns" and "innovation concerns." Genachowski said the FCC will look at whether it "can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones" but he also admitted he isn't sure what kind of authority he has over the issue. It all feels a bit late in the day, frankly, especially when the FCC appears to have largely stood aside while the unlocking policy was being hammered out.

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