New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters to
top executives of AT&T Inc, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile
US Inc and U.S. Cellular, seeking information about their
decision to prevent Samsung from featuring a "kill switch" in
carrier-approved smartphones, the newspaper said.
The "kill switches" on mobile devices render them inoperable
when stolen, eliminating any incentive for theft.
"If carriers are colluding to prevent theft-deterrent features
from being pre-installed on devices as means to sell more
insurance products, they are doing so at the expense of public
safety and putting their customers in danger," Schneiderman said
in a statement, the New York Times reported.
Schneiderman's office and the five carriers could not be reached
for comment by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.
In June, Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George
Gascón met with representatives of Apple, Google Inc's
smartphone maker Motorola Mobility, Samsung Electronics and
Microsoft Corp to urge them to install the switches to disable
Samsung has said it was working on an antitheft solution with
the carriers. But last month, Gascón said emails between a
Samsung executive and a software developer indicated that the
carriers were unwilling to allow Samsung to load the antitheft
software on its phones, the NY Times said.
Samsung could not be reached for comment by Reuters.
(Reporting by Chris Peters and Rohit T.K. in Bangalore;
by Supriya Kurane)
[© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2013 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.