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FCC demands details from Apple about Google Voice rejection

The FCC sent inquiry letters to Apple, AT&T and Google as part of an investigation into the rejection of Google Voice from Apple's App Store. The rejection was one of the now-typical "duplicates the functionality of one of Apple's apps" affairs, and the FCC is pressing for details on how Apple's seemingly inconsistent approval process actually works. Was Apple moving at the behest of AT&T to get rid of an app that might cut into the phone company's profits? Our sister site, TUAW, has the details on the questions each player was asked.

For Apple: What are the actual rules for app approval? Why was Google Voice rejected? Have any VoIP apps been accepted to the store? (TUAW points out that this question seems misplaced, because Voice is not a VoIP application.) Was AT&T consulted on the decision to reject Google Voice?

For Google: Have other Google apps been accepted to Apple's store? What's the approval process for Google's own Android app store? Are there other ways Google Voice might work on the iPhone without the app?

For AT&T: Did AT&T have anything to do with the rejection of Google Voice? Are any VoIP applications running on AT&T's network? What role does AT&T have in approving 3G-enable applications?

The companies have until August 21 to respond to these questions, and the answers should be quite revealing. It's funny that it might take an FCC inquiry to get to the bottom of Apple's mysterious, fickle-seemingly app store policies. iPhone developers will be watching closely.

Tags: app-store, apple, att, fcc, google-voice, iphone, news, rejection