AT&T Denies Asking Apple To Block Google Voice


AT&T says it had nothing to do with Apple's decision to deny Google Voice from being sold through the App Store, while Apple says it's still considering Google's application, according to statements the two companies filed Friday with the Federal Communications Commission.

"AT&T had no role in any decision by Apple to not accept the Google Voice application for inclusion in the Apple App Store. AT&T was not asked about the matter by Apple at any time, nor did we offer any view one way or the other," said Jim Cicconi, AT&T senior executive vice president, external and legislative affairs, in a statement to the FCC.

The FCC has been probing the issue of carrier exclusivity and earlier this month launched an investigation into Apple's decision to not allow the Google Voice app on its App Store. The FCC has been particularly interested in whether AT&T exerted any influence in the Google Voice decision, and has asked both companies to provide documentation in the case.

Apple, in its response to the FCC, also denied acting in concert with AT&T with respect to Google Voice.

"Apple 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," Apple said in a statement.

Apple told the FCC that it hasn't actually rejected Google Voice and is still studying it. Apple says it hasn't approved Google Voice because the software replaces the iPhone user interface. However, Apple also notes that Google Voice transfers an iPhone user's entire Contacts database to Google's servers, and says Google has yet to confirm that it will only use this data in appropriate ways.

Apple did acknowledge a provision in its agreement with AT&T that precludes Apple from allowing VoIP-related functionality on the iPhone without AT&T's permission, and also noted that AT&T prohibits users from redirecting a television signal to an iPhone.

"From time to time, AT&T has expressed concerns regarding network efficiency and potential network congestion associated with certain applications, and Apple takes such concerns into consideration," Apple said in the FCC statement.