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The FCC doesn't seem too happy about the decision to block Google Voice from the App Store

Apple and AT&T have stirred up quite a hornet's nest by blocking not only two Google Voice applications from the App Store, but also Google's own official app. The negative feedback regarding the decision came swiftly and furiously from the iPhone community with many people placing the blame on AT&T for demanding the apps be removed/rejected and at Apple for agreeing to the terms.

A Google spokesperson talked about the situation earlier this week, stating, “We work hard to bring Google applications to a number of mobile platforms, including the iPhone. Apple did not approve the Google Voice application we submitted six weeks ago to the Apple App Store. We will continue to work to bring our services to iPhone users - for example, by taking advantage of advances in mobile browsers.”

The interesting part of this whole debacle is that the official Google Voice application is available on Blackberry smartphones on the AT&T network which makes the decision to block the applications from the AT&T-bound iPhone even more peculiar.

The FCC is also wanting some answers according to the Washington Post and has sent three letters to Apple, AT&T, and Google (all three documents are PDFs) demanding more information on the blocking of applications from the App Store.

Apple is asked why the Google Voice app was rejected, if it acted alone or with the help of AT&T in rejecting the application, and if there is an appeals process once an app has been booted from the App Store among other things.

The FCC has an even lengthier set of questions (nine in total) with the most damning likely being, "Do any devices that operate on AT&T’s network allow use of the Google Voice application? Do any devices that operate on AT&T’s network allow use of other applications that have been rejected for the iPhone?"

In its letter to Google, the FCC asks for the reason Apple gave for rejecting its Google Voice application and also asks about the approval/rejection process for the Android app store.

All three companies have until the end of business on August 21 to respond in full to the FCC's inquiries.





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