Acting on the recommendations of Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and other Senate lawmakers, acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps said the FCC would launch an investigation into exclusive contracts between the nation’s top mobile phone carriers and handset manufacturers. Copps’ announcement at a broadband conference in Washington follows on a hearing conducted last week by the Senate Commerce Committee, at which executives of AT&T and Verizon Wireless were questioned on the competitive effects of handset arrangements that include the exclusive iPhone deal between AT&T and Apple, Inc. Earlier, Kerry and other committee members had written to Copps to ask that the FCC review the issue and to act against any arrangements that “adversely impact competition.” Confirming that he has asked the FCC’s Competition Bureau to initiate a probe, Copps asserted: “the Commission as the expert agency should determine whether some of these arrangements adversely restrict consumer choice or harm the development of innovative devices, and it should take appropriate action if it finds harm.” In response to a written inquiry from Kerry that relates to the same issue, FCC Chairman-designate Julius Genachowski promised that, once he is confirmed, “I will ensure that the full record . . . is reviewed and act accordingly to promote competition and consumer choice.”