Verizon defends pricey early termination fee to FCC

Verizon Wireless, which doubled its early termination fee for smartphones like the Motorola Droid or Blackberry Storm 2 from $175 to $350 last month, is now answering to the Federal Communications Commission. The commission is reviewing Verizon's customer policy and will determine if the company violated consumer protection rules.

While many consumers hoped the inquiry would cause Verizon Wireless to question and possibly lessen its ETF, instead Verizon is refusing to budge, saying the pricey fee balances out the high cost of providing the smartphone at a discount and that the fees help keep its network up and running.