Carrier-Dominated Industry v. Handset-Dominated Industry

Verizon clearly favors the former. John Gruber at Daring Fireball:

Verizon’s interests are better served in a carrier-dominated industry, rather than a handset-dominated industry, and Apple is heading toward a dominant position.

Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents details implications for Verizon taking sides with Samsung:

This attempt by Verizon to interfere with Apple’s enforcement of intellectual property rights against Android in general and Samsung in particular is a declaration of war that may have far-reaching consequences in the U.S. market.

Verizon filed a request for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in support of Samsung. What is an amicus curiae brief?

An amicus curiae brief is a way for third parties with an interest in the outcome of a lawsuit to present their views to the court. The judge will now have to decide whether Verizon is admitted as an amicus curiae, which literally means “friend of the court”. Verizon has already filed its proposed brief, and most likely the judge won’t deny the carrier’s request to intervene. However, it remains to be seen whether the judge will believe that the market-leading carrier represents the public interest […]

And that’s where Gruber’s insight becomes crucial. Verizon isn’t a neutral third party representing the public’s interest. The largest wireless carrier in the U.S. is without any doubt interested in curtailing Apple’s dominance. In a broader sense Verizon is speaking on behalf of all wireless carriers in their desire to regain their once dominant position. And this goes against the public interest. I don’t want Verizon logos on my phone. I don’t want undeletable Verizon-branded crapware on my phone. I don’t want Verizon in a position to dictate how a phone should look or function. Remember the days when the carriers in effect determined what phones we could get? I don’t want to return to those days. I want a future where more companies like Apple make those decisions.