The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigating into Apple's
rejection of Google's official Google Voice application and other
third-party iPhone apps from the App Store was quite interested in finding out AT&T's role in the decision-making process.
AT&T has issued the following statement in response to FCC's inquiry:
“AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We
have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it.”
With that statement, AT&T seems to have shifted the blame on Apple for the rejections, but as John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out, they haven't flatly denied it.
In another probably related development, Google's CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple's Board of Directors. Apple and Google have clarified that the main reason for Eric Schmidt's exit was to avoid “conflict
of interest” due to Google’s entry into mobile operating systems with Android and desktop
operating systems with Chrome OS. Though Google and Apple might be telling us the truth that it was mutually decided, it seems like the FCC inquiry accelerated the decision.
Federal Trade Commission has issued a statement commending Apple and Google for Eric Schmidt's resignation from Apple's Board of Directors. However, they plan to continue to investigate the corporate ties between the two companies for potential anti-competitive activities based on this comment from Bureau of Competition Director Richard Feinstein:
"We have been investigating the Google/Apple interlocking directorates
issue for some time and commend them for recognizing that sharing
directors raises competitive issues, as Google and Apple increasingly
compete with each other. We will continue to investigate remaining interlocking
directorates between the companies."
It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds with government getting involved.
While the blogosphere continues to debate on the real reason for the rejection, folks at JoyOfTech have given the most likely (and the funniest) explanations as to why Apple banned Google Voice from the App Store.
What do you think is the real reason for Google Voice apps getting rejected from the App Store? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.