Search giant Google keeps offering telecommunications services. But does that make it a phone company?
By Beth Kowitt, Writer-reporter
Google (GOOG) is an online advertising company, but it has been inching toward disrupting the telecommunications industry for some time.
In 2006 it launched free citywide Wi-Fi in its headquarters town of Mountain View, Calif., as a not-so-subtle jab at traditional broadband providers such as AT&T (T) and the cable operators.
In 2008 it expressed MOREJan 20, 2010 10:54 AM ET
Ben Baer, Senior Producer - Jan 5, 2010 7:14 PM ET
In the letter to the FCC that Google (GOOG) released Friday -- the one that flatly contradicts the story Apple (AAPL) told the government -- there's an interesting timeline of events.
At the heart of the case, for those who haven't been following every twist and turn, is an application called Google Voice that Google had been trying since June to get onto the iPhone App Store. Google says that Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 19, 2009 10:48 AM ET
"Contrary to published reports," Apple (AAPL) told the FCC back in August in response to a government inquiry about why it rejected Google's (GOOG) famous voice management app. "Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it." (link)
What Google had to say about that was unknown because unlike Apple, which made public its response, Google asked that key portions of its letter to the FCC be MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 18, 2009 12:52 PM ET
I'm sorry, Microsoft. On behalf of Silicon Valley, I'm sorry.
We cursed you, mocked you, labeled you the Evil Empire. Your crime: trying to control the technology world. Sure, we had reason to be upset. During the dawning of the PC era, the Windows operating system made you the most powerful company in tech, and it went to your head.
Your detractors say you intimidated PC makers, crushed Netscape, and tried to MOREJon Fortt - Aug 24, 2009 1:38 PM ET
Here's a question the FCC neglected to ask Apple (AAPL) in its inquiry into why the company rejected -- or as Apple prefers, declined to approve -- Google Voice:
Why has a free app that does essentially the same thing -- and would seem to raise the same red flags for Apple -- been sitting on the App Store for nearly 10 months?
The app is called RingCentral Mobile and not only MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 24, 2009 10:22 AM ET
"A total lie." "Untrue." "Misleading." "Complete fabrication." "Way beyond misleading."
Those are some of the nicer things Michael Arrington had to say about Apple (AAPL) in his analysis of what he calls "Apple's long rambling letter to the FCC."
Arrington, for those who don't have Techmeme on their morning reading list, is the former securities lawyer and serial entrepreneur who runs TechCrunch, arguably Silicon Valley's most influential tech blog.
The letter he's referring MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 22, 2009 6:33 AM ET
It took the heavy hand of the Federal Communications Commission to pry it loose, but we finally have a clearer picture of how Apple's (AAPL) App Store approval process works.
The details are contained in Apple's response to the FCC's July 31 letter of inquiry into why Google's (GOOG) Google Voice app has not been approved. AT&T's response fills 16 pages with legalese and footnotes, but the bottom line is short MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 21, 2009 8:20 PM ET
AT&T stayed mum for weeks to protect its relationship with Apple, but thanks to prodding from the Federal Communications Commission the company is talking now. The upshot: AT&T didn't demand that Apple (AAPL) block Google Voice from the iTunes App Store, thus keeping it off of the iPhone. In fact, AT&T says it didn't even talk to Apple about it before the iPhone maker handed down the decision.
This is the MOREJon Fortt - Aug 21, 2009 5:24 PM ET
The Wall Street Journal's editorial board and I disagree about almost everything, including the legacy of the late Robert Novak.
The op-ed page, however, is a different matter. And on Tuesday the Journal ran a guest commentary by Andy Kessler that says what many of us have been thinking about AT&T's (T) role in Apple's (AAPL) rejection of Google's (GOOG) Google Voice app -- the universal telephone number and voice mail MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 19, 2009 10:50 AM ET
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