The Google Voice FCC affair: Google un-redacts its letter

Remember back when AT&T, Apple, and Google sent their answers concerning the Google Voice iPhone app rejection to the FCC? Google asked that part of its letter be redacted—the part that many people were most interested in seeing, which covered the communications between Google and Apple in regard to the app rejections.

As Google posted to its blog today, a number of groups and individuals subsequently filed Freedom of Information Act requests to find out what the redacted portion of the letter contained. Since Apple made its own letter completely public, Google decided in the interest of transparency to drop its confidentiality request—so the complete letter may now be downloaded from the FCC’s website (PDF format). Ars Technica looks at the contents of the redacted portion here.

The letter chiefly concerns the reasons why the Google Voice dialer and Google Latitude app were rejected. In both cases, it was because Apple was concerned about duplicating functionality of existing apps and causing user confusion. The letter specifically uses the word “rejected,” and notes the points of contact were Alan Eustace and Phil Schiller, two of Google and Apple’s Executive Vice Presidents respectively.

It is interesting to note the differences between what the letters say.

Google: “It was during this call that Mr. Schiller informed Mr. Eustace that Apple was rejecting the Google Voice application[…]”

Apple: "Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it."

Sounds like certain parties need to get their stories straight.

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