Another page has been written in the epic saga of Google Voice and its iPhone troubles. Now the FCC is investigating Apple for cutting the app, as well as several 3rd party Voice apps, from its online store. The Federal Communications Commission sent letters to Apple, AT&T, and Google looking for information on the whole conflict.
Specifically the FCC wanted to know exactly why Apple rejected the app and removed the related applications. They also wanted to know what, if any role, AT&T had on the decision. Apple, whose App Store policies have been wondered at but never formally questioned, was asked to give an accounting of exactly what the approval process involves. The FCC asked for the percentage of rejected apps, and the major reasons that an app gets nixed.
It's far too early to tell what will come of this investigation, but at the very least it will shine the harsh light of accountability over on Apple. A lot of the blame for pulling the Google Voice apps has been laid on AT&T instead of Apple. If it turns out the carrier was blameless in the matter, Apple is going to look all the worse for trying to shift fault. Even if they never came out and said it was AT&T, their failure to take full credit themselves achieved that end.
Since the government is now involved this whole mess is likely to drag on for several more weeks at least. I can honestly say that this is one of the few occasions where that's a good thing. The canning of Google Voice left a bad taste in many people's mouths. With any luck, this investigation will give things a much more satisfying ending. Or at least give those of us who love Voice a pleasant dose of schadenfreude at Apple's expense.