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FCC to Apple: Why the Google iPhone App Ban?

By Neetal Parekh on August 06, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If it wasn't enough that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has Apple and Google on its radar for their board of directors selections, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants in on the Apple-Google action too.  The FCC is investigating Apple's rejection of the Google Voice iPhone app which would enable users to send international text messages and make inexpensive calls.

FCC's initial step was to pose questions to Google, Apple, and AT&T via snail mail to get to the bottom of who said what and why the app was rejected.   The FCC's letter to Google requested a description of the application and a rundown of other Apple-approved apps by Google.  And, for good measure, the FCC also asked for how Google evaluates approval of apps for its own Android platform.

The FCC's query to Google is considered a softball compared to its letter to AT&T.  In fact, "What role, if any, did AT&T play in Apple's consideration of the Google Voice and related applications" is the FCC opener.  Without wasting words, the FCC delved into more questions on AT&T's knowledge and involvement in Apple's rejection of other Google applications.  And if it wasn't enough to answer questions about this specific rejection, the FCC closed by requesting an overall description of criteria for approving apps hailing from Google's Android platform.  Not everything in the correspondence is an intensive inquiry involving a detailed response, at least the letter ends with a heart-felt thank you to AT&T for its presumed cooperation.

And the final letter in the triad is the one directly to Apple.  The FCC really just wants to know why.  Though six multi-part questions fill one-and-a-half pages, the first question does the best to sum up the point of the letter, "Why did Apple reject the Google Voice application for iPhone..." is all the FCC wants to know.

Biting your nails to see the responses? Well, hopefully not chewing on acrylics, because they will likely be confidential. 

Apple and Google are like Silicon Valley University roomies.  Living together was oh-so-awesome but now that they've graduated to the big time, each might be just about ready to move out on its own.  At least there's still happy hour.


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