Comments on Google Voice Rejection Filed Today, Google Under Scrutiny for Similar Actions?
USA Today reports that Apple, AT&T, and Google are expected to file comments with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission today regarding Apple's rejection of the official Google Voice iPhone application.
Apple (AAPL) and AT&T (T) Friday are expected to tell the Federal Communications Commission why Google's free voice application, called Google Voice, is banned from the Apple iPhone. Google is also filing comments.
The FCC moved quickly to investigate the application's rejection, looking to determine the extent of AT&T's role in the decision-making process as Apple and the wireless industry have both come under scrutiny in recent months for possible anti-competitive practices.
The report notes, however, that Google may also find itself facing inquiries about a similar issue in which users of handsets based on the company's Android mobile phone operating system are unable to take advantage of full Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service from Skype.
Consumers who use Android, the Google-developed operating system for wireless devices, can't use Skype, a leading Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. A pioneer in free Internet calling, Skype allows you to talk as long as you want without draining cellphone minutes.
Android users get Skype Lite, a watered-down version of the original that routes calls over traditional phone networks -- not the Internet. As a result, long-distance calls are still cheap or free, but cellphone minutes are gobbled up every time a Skype Lite call is made.
In a statement, Google noted that it does have the ability to block VoIP services at the request of wireless providers. With T-Mobile currently being the only U.S. provider to offer Android-based phones, it would appear that the wireless company is responsible for the limitation on Android-based phones, but a T-Mobile spokesman has denied that that is the case.
USA Today notes that Google has been asked to address its application approval process for Android as part of the Google Voice investigation.