Apple responds to FCC enquiry into Google Voice and its App Store

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Apple has now responded to the questions that were asked by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as it is investigating claims that the Google Voice app was rejected by Apple on its App Store. Only problem, Apple has said that it was not rejected.

“Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it,” it starts off with Question 1 on why did it, according to an FCC letter, reject the application.

“The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.”

“Apple spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone.”

On the question if AT&T played a part in rejecting the application, Apple responded that it is “acting alone and has not consulted with AT&T about whether or not to approve the Google Voice application. No contractual conditions or non-contractual understandings with AT&T have been a factor in Apple’s decision-making process in this matter.”

It also says that AT&T does not make any decisions; but also added, “There is a provision in Apple’s agreement with AT&T that obligates Apple not to include functionality in any Apple phone that enables a customer to use AT&T’s cellular network service to originate or terminate a VoIP session without obtaining AT&T’s permission.”

The answers provided seem to go in line with AT&T’s response, sent to the FCC just yesterday, saying that it does not have any consideration of the application, nor has no regulation over the App Store; but is a party in negotiations if the application needs to be reworked to meet its technical criteria “in order to minimize congestion on our wireless network and provide a satisfactory experience for end-user customers.”

Google, however, has provided an explanation on why its Google Voice application was rejected, but it has been redacted for “confidential” material. In its request for Confidential Treatment, it says that constitute “commercially sensitive information” and that can be requested under section 0.459(a) of the Commission’s Rules.

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