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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: Not a complete lie
By DoctorDavid on 10/16/2009 1:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
It appears the reality I live in is one where smarmy replies to my comments are common. Sarcasm and words in all caps. Sigh. Certainly the Dems can take some blame for the Fannie Freddie portion of this mess and other catastrophies also.
Well maybe I am living in my own reality,I remember that Bush had 6 years with a republican majority in congress. Putting regulations on financial institutions however isn't something the conservatives in Washington are usually interested in.
It was bush who sent his fed. chairman to demand nearly a trillion dollars with no oversight to be forced onto the top financial institutions.

RE: Not a complete lie
By MrBlastman on 10/16/2009 1:10:03 PM , Rating: 4
Let's play complete the sentence.

It was bush who sent his fed. chairman to demand nearly a trillion dollars with no oversight to be forced onto the top financial institutions...

... and if hadn't, these institutions would have been devoid of any foundation to prevent them all from toppling sending Americans into a panic whereupon chaos would ensue causing the next Great Depression.


Be fair. Things could be a whole lot worse right now than they are. Read my other post btw, Bush _did_ try to change things.

I'll also be fair. Bush did waste 6 years where he had a majority and could have done a lot but didn't. Instead, he bloated our government and spent money freely. He also refused to listen to the people and went on his own agenda.

This is a fun game, huh?

RE: Not a complete lie
By Master Kenobi on 10/16/2009 1:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
Ironically, as much as people complained about Bush's spending, Obama seems to be on track to make him look like an amateur.

RE: Not a complete lie
By Hieyeck on 10/16/2009 2:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
Proof that Democrats really do do everything better.


RE: Not a complete lie
By DoctorDavid on 10/16/2009 2:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
It is certainly more fun with reasonable responses such as yours. The smarm and sarcasm of some other replies to my comment are frustrating.
Your completion of my sentence was clarifying. I was originally commenting on , I believe it was fit camero, who said it was liberals that forced the money on the financial institutions.

I also wonder if the incredible amounts of money given to the failed banks would have been more useful if we had given it to healthy insitutions. I honestly don't know if that would have helped more but giving tax money to companies that failed in such a dramatic fashion just seems so wrong.

Bush, I believe, did try to do something about Fannie/Freddie and that could have helped some but they were a minor player compared to wall street and the insurance companies.I don't believe Bush tried to pass any regulations on them. I do thank God that he failed to put social security in the stock market.Disappearing 401k's are bad enough.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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