While the California Titans get into a contest of wills, ATT's congressional nemesis is looking to add to the battle.
I have to say it's pretty amazing to me what Congress focuses on, but the letters from the FCC inquiring about GoogleVoice make clear that this is going to be dragged into the bigger discussion.
First of all lets talk about the letters. The FCC's letter to AppleApple letter 7 31 09.pdf
wants to see if ATT drove the decision or had any influence. I think Craig Moffett is right to suggest that if that were the case, it would be more courtesy than control.
Though as a former President of a major phone company used to say, If you leave a telco witness up long enough they will confess to anything.
Now the ATT letter AT&T Letter 7 31 09.pdf
gets into the general distrust and expands the discussion to ask about blocking applications as well.
Finally the Google letter Google letter 7 31 09.pdf
ends with concern as to whether Android has similar strategies as Apple.
Embedded in the documents are a bunch of questions about Rural Services and Network Neutrality to the ATT & Apple relationship. Particularly when taken into consideration of the Markey Bill
. It has brought to the attention of the Congress that the Stimulus may leave the unserved and underserved with a network that does not have sexy devices like the iPhone on it, which is not what their constiuents want to hear.
The people want device freedom, and Congress may give it to them.
On the business side of the equation the resignation of Eric Schmidt from the Apple board is probably long overdue. The companies have been expanding the Ven Diagram of overlap with Android, Chrome, MobileMe, Safari, etc.
While the two companies could have been the best hope for a level playing field of interoperability, we are probably not going to see either side be their better selves for a while.
Adobe and Oracle (Java) are two other companies that may have a desire to contribute to the discussion.