Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has made its letter to the FCC public, which for the first time reveals its interactions with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) over the rejection of the Google Voice application. Since Google submitted the letter on Aug. 21, much of the contents were redacted and held confidential. Google writes in its public policy blog today that following requests for the information, under the Freedom of Information Act, and the fact that Apple made its comments public, it is no longer holding the contents of the letter confidential.
So, here’s the explanation we’ve been waiting for, or at least Google’s side to the long drawn-out saga as to why its Voice application, which allows people to make phone calls over the data connection, was denied. In response to the official FCC inquiry on the matter, Google writes that Apple said that its Google Voice app was rejected because it duplicated core functionalities on the iPhone. In addition, its Google Latitude app was also rejected because it duplicates functionalities in the core map application (made by Google). “Apple’s representatives informed Google that the Google Voice application was rejected because Apple believed the application duplicated the core dialer functionality of the iPhone. The Apple representatives indicated that the company did not want applications that could potentially replace such functionality.” UDPATE: After many interpreted this as Apple lying, Apple released this statement to the press today: “We do not agree with all of the statements made by Google in their FCC letter. Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and we continue to discuss it with Google.”
The controversy of the rejection mostly swirls around the question as to who was responsible for the rejection, Apple or AT&T (NYSE: T) (which was rumored to be concerned about maintaining its core voice business). But after all three parties responded to the FCC, it was clear the decision was Apple’s. In a short statement, AT&T said it had nothing to do with the application’s rejection, and in a lengthy letter, Apple confirmed it acted alone.
The one piece of this puzzle, which doesn’t fit, is that Apple claims it technically is still reviewing the app and hasn’t rejected it yet. In Apple’s statement, the company writes that