Hallelujah! FCC Investigating Apple For Google Voice App Rejection

YES. The FCC is looking into Apple's chickenshit shenanigans with Google Voice, asking whether AT&T was involved, why it was rejected and what's going on with this Google Voice thing. Updated with correspondence among FCC, Apple, AT&T and Google.

The request is part of a broader-ranging inquiry by the commission on exclusive deals between cell phone carriers and handset manufacturers for hot phones. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Thursday that the FCC wants to look into rural areas where customers can't buy the latest fancy phones because of such exclusive deals.

Update: We now have access to the letters sent by the FCC to Apple, AT&T, and Google, trying to sort this whole mess out. The questions to Apple and AT&T are exactly what we ourselves want to know: What role, specifically, does AT&T play in Apple's app approval process? What are Apple's specific reasons for pulling the Google Voice app, among others? And why in the hell is Google Voice approved for BlackBerrys and not the iPhone? Check out the letters here at Techcrunch.

AT&T responded with a very frosty denial that they have any influence on the app approval process, which is a tough argument to make when everybody everywhere is convinced they do. Here's their statement:

AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it.

We'll keep you updated when AT&T, Apple, and Google formally respond to the FCC's inquiry.

This doesn't signal, by any means, that Google Voice is going to get onto the iPhone, but it does put some pressure onto Apple to not pull moves like this in the future. [WSJ]