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Feds Aren't Just After Apple And AT&T Anymore, Google Gets Thrown Under FCC's Microscope

August 21, 2009


According to USA Today, Apple, AT&T, and Google are all expected to file their comments to the FCC regarding the rejection of the official Google Voice iPhone app, but that news has taken a back burner to some other news regarding Google and the FCC.  Google is now under the FCC's microscope as well thanks to their questionable app approval process.
As part of its Google Voice probe, the FCC has asked Google to describe its process for "considering and approving" Android apps. The agency also asked the Web giant to specify the percentage of apps that are rejected and explain why.
The USA Today report specifically mentions that Google Android users are only allowed to use a crippled version of Skype, which was designed specifically for Google's platform.
Android users get Skype Lite, a watered-down version of the original that routes calls over traditional phone networks — not the Internet. As a result, long-distance calls are still cheap or free, but cellphone minutes are gobbled up every time a Skype Lite call is made.
By comparison, the iPhone's Skype app is able to make calls over the Internet, but only via Wi-Fi and not 3G. Google issued a statement to USA Today indicating that it does have the ability to block VoIP services at the request of wireless service providers.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?  The confusing part is that it appears this statement is directed towards T-Mobile, the only U.S. wireless service provider to offer Google Android-based phones, yet a T-Mobile spokesman has denied that the company had requested such actions. Who knew wireless data usage would become such a big deal?

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