FCC 介入調查 Google Voice app 被 Apple 拒絕事件

Posted by Mr. Saturday

顯然美國的政府單位對於開放整個無線通訊市場具有相當大的決心, 日前 Apple 把 Google voice application 和相關的 third party applications 自 app store 上面移除, 結果引發了非常多開發者和使用者的抱怨和不滿, 蘋果電腦一開始的解釋是: 因為 Google 的這些應用程式與 app store 上面的一些其他應用程式功能重複了, 不過此舉引來相當多的批評, 一般認為 AT&T 和 Apple 是因為害怕競爭, 所以聯手做出了這種反競爭的決策, 不過 AT&T 在事情發生之後把責任很小心地推給了 Apple, Apple 後來對於整個事件不再發表評論, 顯然還在想該怎麼處理這一次的危機

由於 Apple 的作法引起很多使用者的不滿, FCC (Federal Communications Commission) 聯邦通訊委員會最近也注意到了這件事情, 於是馬上展開調查, 發了三封通知信, 分別是給 Apple, Google 和 AT&T, 要三家公司提出這起事件的詳細說明, 如下 [via TechCrunch]: 這一次的事件無論結果如何, 想必都會成為眾多想要在無線通訊/手機市場分一杯羹的廠商的一個很好的借鏡, 我相信結果也會跟著整個網路的發展方向, 往開放的方向走去 (是的, 也就是說, Apple 這一次恐怕要吃鱉了)

這種事情其實在 iPhone 出現之後, 已經不是第一次發生了, 現在正值手機的通訊網路與網際網路逐漸匯流之時, 一直以來藉著封閉網路向使用者收取高額通訊費的電信公司, 其現存的商業模式在未來自然成為被淘汰的對象, 所以之前也發生過德國的通訊巨人 T-Mobile 在 iPhone 上面不讓使用者使用 Skype 的事件, 這一次 Apple 把 Google 的應用程式拿掉, AT&T 在背後完全不知情嗎? 我相當懷疑.

FCC Letter to Apple

July 31, 2009

Catherine A. Novelli, Vice President
Worldwide Government Affairs
Apple Inc.
901 15th Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC  20005

RE: Google Voice and related iPhone applications

Dear Ms. Novelli:

Recent press reports indicate that Apple has declined to approve the Google Voice application for the iPhone and has removed related (and previously approved) third-party applications from the iPhone App Store.   In light of pending FCC proceedings regarding wireless open access (RM-11361) and handset exclusivity (RM-11497), we are interested in a more complete understanding of this situation.

To that end, please provide answers to the following questions by close of business on Friday, August 21, 2009.

1. Why did Apple reject the Google Voice application for iPhone and remove related third-party applications from its App Store?  In addition to Google Voice, which related third-party applications were removed or have been rejected?  Please provide the specific name of each application and the contact information for the developer.
2. Did Apple act alone, or in consultation with AT&T, in deciding to reject the Google Voice application and related applications?  If the latter, please describe the communications between Apple and AT&T in connection with the decision to reject Google Voice.  Are there any contractual conditions or non-contractual understandings with AT&T that affected Apple’s decision in this matter?
3. Does AT&T have any role in the approval of iPhone applications generally (or in certain cases)?  If so, under what circumstances, and what role does it play?  What roles are specified in the contractual provisions between Apple and AT&T (or any non-contractual understandings) regarding the consideration of particular iPhone applications?
4. Please explain any differences between the Google Voice iPhone application and any Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications that Apple has approved for the iPhone.  Are any of the approved VoIP applications allowed to operate on AT&T’s 3G network?
5. What other applications have been rejected for use on the iPhone and for what reasons?  Is there a list of prohibited applications or of categories of applications that is provided to potential vendors/developers?  If so, is this posted on the iTunes website or otherwise disclosed to consumers?
6. What are the standards for considering and approving iPhone applications?   What is the approval process for such applications (timing, reasons for rejection, appeal process, etc.)?  What is the percentage of applications that are rejected?  What are the major reasons for rejecting an application?

Request for Confidential Treatment.  If Apple requests that any information or documents responsive to this letter be treated in a confidential manner, it shall submit, along with all responsive information and documents, a statement in accordance with section 0.459 of the Commission’s rules.  47 C.F.R. § 0.459.  Requests for confidential treatment must comply with the requirements of section 0.459, including the standards of specificity mandated by section 0.459(b).  Accordingly, “blanket” requests for confidentiality of a large set of documents are unacceptable.  Pursuant to section 0.459(c), the Bureau will not consider requests that do not comply with the requirements of section 0.459.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

Sincerely,

James D. Schlichting
Acting Chief
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Federal Communications Commission

FCC Letter to Google

July 31, 2009

Richard S. Whitt, Esq.
Washington Telecom and Media Counsel
Google Inc.
1101 New York Avenue, NW, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005

RE: Apple’s Rejection of the Google Voice for iPhone Application

Dear Mr. Whitt:

Recent press reports indicate that Apple has declined to approve the Google Voice application for the iPhone and has removed related (and previously approved) third-party applications from the iPhone App Store. In light of pending FCC proceedings regarding wireless open access (RM-11361) and handset exclusivity (RM-11497), we are interested in a more complete understanding of this situation.

To that end, please provide answers to the following questions by close of business on Friday, August 21, 2009.

1. Please provide a description of the proposed Google Voice application for iPhone. What are the key features, and how does it operate (over a voice or data network, etc.)?
2. What explanation was given (if any) for Apple’s rejection of the Google Voice application (and for any other Google applications for iPhone that have been rejected, such as Google Latitude)? Please describe any communications between Google and AT&T or Apple on this topic and a summary of any meetings or discussion.
3. Has Apple approved any Google applications for the Apple App Store? If so, what services do they provide, and, in Google’s opinion, are they similar to any Apple/AT&T-provided applications?
4. Does Google have any other proposed applications pending with Apple, and if so, what services do they provide?
5. Are there other mechanisms by which an iPhone user will be able to access either some or all of the features of Google Voice? If so, please explain how and to what extent iPhone users can utilize Google Voice despite the fact that it is not available through Apple’s App Store.
6. Please provide a description of the standards for considering and approving applications with respect to Google’s Android platform. What is the approval process for such applications (timing, reasons for rejection, appeal process, etc.)? What is the percentage of applications that are rejected? What are the major reasons for rejecting an application?

Request for Confidential Treatment. If Google requests that any information or documents responsive to this letter be treated in a confidential manner, it shall submit, along with all responsive information and documents, a statement in accordance with section 0.459 of the Commission’s rules. 47 C.F.R. § 0.459. Requests for confidential treatment must comply with the requirements of section 0.459, including the standards of specificity mandated by section 0.459(b). Accordingly, “blanket” requests for confidentiality of a large set of documents are unacceptable. Pursuant to section 0.459(c), the Bureau will not consider requests that do not comply with the requirements of section 0.459.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

Sincerely,

James D. Schlichting
Acting Chief
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Federal Communications Commission

FCC Letter to AT&T

July 31, 2009

James W. Cicconi
Senior Executive Vice President-External and Legislative Affairs
AT&T Services, Inc.
1120 20th Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036

RE: Apple’s Rejection of the Google Voice for iPhone Application

Dear Mr. Cicconi:

Recent press reports indicate that Apple has declined to approve the Google Voice application for the iPhone and has removed related (and previously approved) third-party applications from the iPhone App Store. In light of pending FCC proceedings regarding wireless open access (RM-11361) and handset exclusivity (RM-11497), we are interested in a more complete understanding of this situation.

To that end, please provide answers to the following questions by close of business on Friday, August 21, 2009.

1. What role, if any, did AT&T play in Apple’s consideration of the Google Voice and related applications? What role, if any, does AT&T play in consideration of iPhone applications generally? What roles are specified in the contractual provisions between Apple and AT&T (or in any non-contractual understanding between the companies) regarding the consideration of particular iPhone applications?
2. Did Apple consult with AT&T in the process of deciding to reject the Google Voice application? If so, please describe any communications between AT&T and Apple or Google on this topic, including the parties involved and a summary of any meetings or discussions.
3. Please explain AT&T’s understanding of any differences between the Google Voice iPhone application and any Voice over Internet Protocol applications that are currently used on the AT&T network, either via the iPhone or via handsets other than the iPhone.
4. To AT&T’s knowledge, what other applications have been rejected for use on the iPhone? Which of these applications were designed to operate on AT&T’s 3G network? What was AT&T’s role in considering whether such applications would be approved or rejected?
5. Please detail any conditions included in AT&T’s agreements or contracts with Apple for the iPhone related to the certification of applications or any particular application’s ability to use AT&T’s 3G network.
6. Are there any terms in AT&T’s customer agreements that limit customer usage of certain third-party applications? If so, please indicate how consumers are informed of such limitations and whether such limitations are posted on the iTunes website as well. In general, what is AT&T’s role in certifying applications on devices that run over AT&T’s 3G network? What, if any, applications require AT&T’s approval to be added to a device? Are there any differences between AT&T’s treatment of the iPhone and other devices used on its 3G network?
7. Please list the services/applications that AT&T provides for the iPhone, and whether there any similar, competing iPhone applications offered by other providers in Apple’s App Store.
8. Do any devices that operate on AT&T’s network allow use of the Google Voice application? Do any devices that operate on AT&T’s network allow use of other applications that have been rejected for the iPhone?
9. Please explain whether, on AT&T’s network, consumers’ access to and usage of Google Voice is disabled on the iPhone but permitted on other handsets, including Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices.

Request for Confidential Treatment. If AT&T requests that any information or documents responsive to this letter be treated in a confidential manner, it shall submit, along with all responsive information and documents, a statement in accordance with section 0.459 of the Commission’s rules. 47 C.F.R. § 0.459. Requests for confidential treatment must comply with the requirements of section 0.459, including the standards of specificity mandated by section 0.459(b). Accordingly, “blanket” requests for confidentiality of a large set of documents are unacceptable. Pursuant to section 0.459(c), the Bureau will not consider requests that do not comply with the requirements of section 0.459.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

Sincerely,

James D. Schlichting
Acting Chief
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Federal Communications Commission

喜歡這篇文章嗎? 分享出去給作者一點鼓勵吧!