We reported on the dispute between Verizon and Google regarding the Google Wallet app earlier this month, but it seems that Verizon have been caught applying a ridiculous double standard when it comes to their own Isis Mobile Wallet application.
The Isis Mobile Wallet is a joint development between T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, which allows users to make secure mobile payments using NFC-equipped SIM cards, and is very similar to the Google Wallet app.
Originally, Verizon said that they wouldn’t be offering Google Wallet on their handsets because it required access to the phone’s secure element. They stated that:
“Google is free to offer its Google Wallet application in a manner that doesn’t require integration with the secure element.”
Well, it seems that that Verizon don’t care about being called out on blatant hypocrisy, as it turns out that their own Isis Mobile Wallet application requires access to the very same Secure Element. All you have to do it check the installation requirements for the Isis Wallet to see through the farce.
It’s quite clear that Verizon are trying to keep Google’s own wallet app away from their handsets. Of course there’s a financial incentive to having a monopoly on mobile payment systems, as the developers will get a cut of every transaction, but it doesn’t make this sort of double-standard acceptable. In my opinion this definitely constitutes unfair and anti-competitive behavior.
Google has already complained to the FCC about the uncompetitive actions of Verizon, and this new development should certainly add some weight to Google’s case.