Verizon has decided to start asking for $0.03 per message from anyone who wants to send mobile-terminated messages to its customers, possible strangling SMS-based services like Google SMS, Yahoo! oneSearch. The move will also penalize any other company that uses text message notifications for its customers (though the change won't affect rates for mobile-to-mobile messaging.) Like others, Verizon used to charge a fraction of a cent to text their subscribers, during which time lots companies built up SMS notification services for everything from social networking to banking — services which may now be too expensive to operate. Now that the userbase of (and companies' dependence on) such services is pretty huge, mobile terminated texting is kind of inevitable. In other words, all the SMS-dependent companies can't live without reaching Verizon's customers, so Verizon is in a position to pretty much charge whatever they want. And that's exactly what they're doing, because they're very classy. [RCRWireless via BGR] UPDATE: Verizon is telling us that this is only a possibility and not a fait accompli. Here's more:
Specific information in one proposal, which would impose a small per-message fee on for-profit content aggregators for commercial messages, has been mistakenly characterized as a final decision to implement. We don't envision this type of change to in any way affect non-profit organizations or political and advocacy organizations.