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AT&T accuses Google of a vast conspiracy, including using its "monopoly" to control the media, control user's internet traffic, and silence its opponents.  (Source: The Independent)
A new letter from AT&T to the federal government makes it clear that the company has little love for Google

If there's one thing clear from the Google Voice iPhone debacle, it's that there's no love lost between AT&T and Google.  AT&T, to date, is accusing Google of everything from political and news manipulation, to violating net neutrality.

The drama surrounding the rejection began shortly after when the Federal Communications Commission opened an inquiry into who was responsible for the rejection of Google Voice and whether the rejection violated any federal laws or rules.  AT&T quickly responded that it did not mastermind the rejection, and that it was Apple's doing.  Apple followed up, taking the blame and say it was working to get the app approved.

Then came a second response from AT&T.  Apparently in a sharing mood, AT&T sounded off against Google and complained to the FCC that it believes Google Voice breaks the law.  Since AT&T has allowed VoIP apps onto the iPhone, but Google Voice is still no where to be found.  Now AT&T has delivered a third letter to the FCC further attacking the internet giant.

While Google has been attacked by many -- newspaper moguls, telecoms, and internet rivals -- the new letter is perhaps the harshest conglomerated criticism leveled against the company to date.  Written by Robert W. Quinn, Jr., an AT&T Senior Vice President, the letter entitled "Google Voice; Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates for Local Exchange Carriers" opens claiming Google is a hypocrite when it comes to net neutrality.

Mr. Quinn writes:

As the debate regarding “net neutrality” has evolved, it appeared on the surface that all parties shared the same desire to preserve the “free and open” nature of the Internet, a goal enunciated by [FCC] Chairman Genachowski with which we heartily agree."

As communications services increasingly migrate to broadband Internet-based platforms, we can now see the power of Internet-based applications providers to act as gatekeepers who can threaten the “free and open” Internet. Google’s double-standard for “openness” – where Google does what it wants while other providers are subject to Commission regulations – is plainly inconsistent with the goal of preserving a “free and open” Internet ecosystem.

The letter claims that Google's explanation that it is only blocking certain kinds of rural calls like adult sex-chat lines, to avoid high fees leveled against the free service, is a lie.  The letter accuses Google of conspiracy, saying it also blocked calls to an ambulance service, church, bank, law firm, automobile dealer, day spa, orchard, health clinic, tax preparation service, community center, eye doctor, tribal community college, school, residential consumers, a convent of Benedictine nuns, and the campaign office of a U.S. Representative.

According to AT&T, Google is "abus[ing] its market power".  AT&T insists Google is not exempt, either from being free or being internet-based, from federal regulations that prevent such call blocking.

The letter also calls Google a monopoly, citing, "In preparing a complaint to challenge the Google/Yahoo arrangement, the [U.S.] Department [of Justice] reportedly concluded that Google had a “monopoly” in these markets and the proposed arrangement “would have furthered [Google’s] monopoly."

Furthermore, AT&T accuses Google of practicing broad-scale manipulation of the media.  It says that Google blocked political advertisements from Senator Susan Collins, due to her criticism of, a Google net neutrality partner.  It also accuses Google of blocking the Inner City Press from Google News, as the publication criticized the United Nation Development Programme, a Google-sponsored program.

It then goes on to accuse Google of illegitimately "buying" ads in its own auction to push its agenda for keywords such as "net neutrality". The letter concludes, "Ironically, Google appears oblivious to the hypocrisy of its net neutrality advocacy relative to its own conduct. [A]t the same time, Google exploits the dominance of its search engine and its gatekeeping power over other applications to give its preferred content greater visibility than its political opponents’ content or to simply block its competitors’ applications altogether."

"Deliberately narrowing the principles to award Google a special privilege to play by its own rules – or no rules at all – would be grossly unfair, patently unlawful, and a renunciation of President Obama’s assurance that the Commission’s Internet Policy Statement would be used to “ensure there’s a level playing field” between competitors. Thus, the Commission’s first fundamental step in leveling that playing field must be to unequivocally re-affirm in its proposed rulemaking that it will not exempt Google from whatever rules it ultimately adopts."

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RE: Of course Google is evil
By reader1 on 10/16/2009 9:25:13 AM , Rating: -1
That's true, they are liberals.

Google's liberals want everything to be free and support piracy. It's no coincidence that in China and Russia 80% of software is pirated. It's also no coincidence that Bill Gates is revered in China. Bill Gates is also an atheist liberal that profits from piracy.

Ruper Murdoch (conservative CEO of News Corp. that owns Fox Broadcasting), wants everyone to pay for web content and is against piracy.

I'm a liberal, but Google is wrong. The open, free internet is a cesspool of crime and a disorganized mess.

RE: Of course Google is evil
By Blessedman on 10/16/2009 9:40:20 AM , Rating: 3
your sarcasm is either too deep or muddled, at least I am hoping it sarcasm, lol

RE: Of course Google is evil
By imaheadcase on 10/16/2009 9:41:25 AM , Rating: 2
The open, free internet is a cesspoll of crime and disorganized mess?

Welcome to america, replace internet with freemarket and you got the same thing. That explains..
1. government
2. market
3. patent system
4. monopolies


RE: Of course Google is evil
By superPC on 10/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Of course Google is evil
By R3T4rd on 10/16/2009 11:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
reader1, you make Pirks sound and look like Ghandi.

You sir, have issues. You remind me of the "Bearded Brother-in-law" (can't remember his name) in "The Hangover". Though he's actually are not.

RE: Of course Google is evil
By FITCamaro on 10/16/2009 12:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
And he's good at poker.

Awesome movie though.

RE: Of course Google is evil
By MrBlastman on 10/16/2009 12:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
The open, free internet is a cesspool of crime and a disorganized mess.

You obviously did not BBS much back in the day on 1200-2400 bps modems. This little "dark corner" you allude to has existed for a long time. The only problem is nowadays the common public has really brought it out into the open in a "everyone is doing it" kind of way.

Oh, and I agree with your comment on Google being wrong. They are a great potential threat to free thought and ideas, it is only a matter of time. They store everything for a reason. What makes people think they are just doing it for good?

All information can be used for good, kind purposes just as easily as it can be used to do wrong.

RE: Of course Google is evil
By Jalek on 10/16/2009 9:05:03 PM , Rating: 1
The open, free internet is a cesspool of crime and a disorganized mess.

Nobody's making you use it. Perhaps you'd prefer a nicely organized encyclopedia.

Of course you could easily say the same of American society.
There are plenty of more structured places to live, where everything is controlled, including the internet.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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