Yeah, we're pretty much all peeved by Apple suddenly ejecting all traces of Google Voice from the app store, but now it looks to have drawn the ire of the Federal Communications Commission, as well. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the agency has sent out three letters, one each to Apple, AT&T, and Google. To the latter company, it asked for a description of the Google Voice app and whether previous Google apps have been approved for the store (it has, but that's another interesting story). To Cupertino, it's asking the phone manufacturer to explain itself over the sudden exorcism and what involvement, if any, AT&T had in this decision. The report doesn't make a direct indication of what the letter to the carrier said, but we can imagine it's similar to what Apple got, plus some doodles at the end of a stick figure letting out an exasperated sigh. In a statement today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said it "has a mission to foster a competitive wireless marketplace, protect and empower consumers, and promote innovation and investment." Hey Julius, while you're at it, can you see about Skype and Slingbox for us, too? Thanks.
Update: TechCrunch has published the three letters sent out, all very interesting reads. The FCC asks Apple specifically if any approved VoIP apps are allowed to be used over AT&T's 3G network, and more generally what are the "standards for considering and approving iPhone applications" and more details into the approval process. It also asks for the contact information of all developers of rejected Google Voice apps, presumably for further investigation. In the Google letter, it seems to be asking if Voice will be able to be utilized in any capacity over the web, without inclusion in the iTunes store. Unsurprisingly, a number of questions to Apple and AT&T concern the carrier's involvement in which apps or types of apps get rejected. All companies have until August 21st to respond and can request confidentiality on all or portions of their response.
Update 2: AT&T spokesman Brad Mays has sent us a statement denying any involvement in the app store process: "AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it," he says. That said, its involvement in Slingbox's rejection certainly does raise some eyebrows here.