FCC Investigating Apple’s Rejection of Google Voice related iPhone Apps

Spotify for iPhone

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is investigating Apple's rejection of Google's official Google Voice application and other third-party iPhone apps from the App Store.

Apple had rejected the iPhone Apps earlier in the week. They had stated that the iPhone apps were duplicating features that are already available on the iPhone such as Dialer, SMS etc.

Google Voice (formerly GrandCentral) is a free and innovative service that uses voice over internet protocol to link customers' phone numbers together. Users of Google Voice are able to select a single U.S. phone number, from various area codes. When a Google Number is called, any or all of the user's phones may be set to ring based on the calling number or on the contact group (e.g. Family, Friends, Work, etc), and/or based on time of day (e.g. disabling a home phone during business hours and routing calls to mobile or business number). The service also features centralized voicemail and indexable, automated voicemail transcription, accessible by PC or phone.

Unfortunately, Apple decided to reject all Google Voice related iPhone apps including Google's official Google Voice application from the App Store. It is widely speculated that Apple rejected the apps due to pressure from AT&T.

The rejection has caused an uproar among iPhone users and app developers and looks like FCC isn't happy about it either. They have sent letters to Apple, AT&T and Google to find out the reason why the iPhone apps were rejected. FCC seems to be interested in AT&T's role in the decision-making process and has given the three companies until August 21 to respond to their letters.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is part of a broader investigation by FCC
on
exclusive deals between carriers and handset manufacturers.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of FCC's investigation and get some insight into the actual reason for Apple's rejection of Google Voice related iPhone apps.

We will keep you posted on this developing story so stay tuned here at iPhone Hacks.

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[via WSJ (subscription required)]