FCC Investigates Apple's Banning of Google Voice

Posted on August 1, 2009

The FCC has launched an inquiry into Apple's banning of the Google Voice application from iphones. Many iPhone users are very unhappy that the app was banned by Apple and it may not be legal to ban it, if it is considered an antitrust or unfair competition violation. The FCC sent a letter to Google
Google Voice assigns a single phone number to a user's cellphone, land line or Internet phone accounts. It also allows free text messaging and inexpensive international calls.

On Tuesday, Google said Apple wouldn't let it distribute the software through its App Store, where iPhone users can download software. Apple has previously turned away Internet-telephony programs because they repeated key iPhone functions.

In a statement Friday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the FCC "has a mission to foster a competitive wireless marketplace, protect and empower consumers, and promote innovation and investment." The inquiry letters "reflect the Commission's proactive approach to getting the facts and data necessary to make the best policy decisions."
Google also issued a statement: "Apple did not approve the Google Voice application we submitted six weeks ago to the Apple App Store. We will continue to work to bring our services to iPhone users, for example by taking advantage of advances in mobile browsers. We will supply the information that the Commission has requested."

The FCC may not have received a formal complaint, but there have been many complaints by tech bloggers. Michael Arrington of TechCrunch is so mad over this incident and other behavior by Apple that he is quitting the iPhone. The iPhone is now totally dead to Michael Arrington. That's something we'd never thought we'd see in our lifetimes.