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AT&T To Reconsider VoIP Applications Over 3G? Yeah but What Apple VoIP apps?

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As part of the responses to the FCC’s inquiry into the rejection of Google Voice from the iPhone App Store, AT&T stated the following:

As noted above, AT&T regularly reviews its policies regarding features and capabilities available through the devices we offer in order to provide an attractive range of options for our customers. Consistent with this approach, we plan to take a fresh look at possibly authorizing VoIP capabilities on the iPhone for use on AT&T’s 3G network.

This was couched in some legal arguments stating economists and jurists allow deals where one party’s core business is protected against adverse actions taken by another party — in this case AT&T is saying VoIP would hurt their revenue from voice plans, so it’s okay for Apple to protect AT&T from that hurt.

However, AT&T also says that while Apple agreed not to produce a VoIP app for the iPhone without AT&T’s consent, they had no obligation to “take action against” a third party app.

So, presumably Apple is not allowed to make a VoIP app unless AT&T says okay, but Apple’s just being kind to AT&T by not allowing Skype (for example) to use the 3G network?

And if AT&T is changing their mind and thinking of allowing a VoIP app, and the only VoIP app they say they’re allowed to allow is one by Apple…

Conspiracy theorists, where does that leave us?

via tipb

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