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FCC Investigating Google Voice App Rejection, Wants To Know AT&T's Role

August 1, 2009


The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the FCC has officially opened an inquiry to Apple and AT&T over the rejection of not only Google's own Google Voice app, but also the removal of all third-party apps that utilized the service.  Do you hear that?  I believe that's the collective cheer from everyone who has felt wronged by Apple's app approval process. In a letter sent to Apple on Friday, the FCC asked why Google's own Google Voice app was rejected, what other related apps have been removed or rejected, and what role AT&T may have played in the final decision, if any.  The FCC is also trying to make sure it is clear how Google Voice is different from VoIP apps, which have, of course, been approved for the iPhone.  The letter basically reflects what everyone, developers and users alike, have been asking Apple to clear up about the App Store's approval process since the very first app rejection. Similar letters were sent to AT&T and Google in an attempt to get their sides of the story.  TechCrunch has obtained all three letters if you care to take a look. The FCC's inquiry is actually part of a broader-ranging inquiry on exclusive deals between carriers and handset manufacturers for top selling phones, and was reportedly initiated by the agency itself.
In a statement Friday, Genachowski said the FCC "has a mission to foster a competitive wireless marketplace, protect and empower consumers, and promote innovation and investment." The inquiry letters "reflect the Commission's proactive approach to getting the facts and data necessary to make the best policy decisions."
Since this is such a juicy subject and opinions seem to vary greatly, we would like to hear what you think about this whole situation.  Do you think the government has the right to step in and therefore should?  Or, do you think that Apple has every right to do as they please since they are the ones who spent the time and money creating the App Store?

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