Digital convergence – when the new and the old collide

New opportunities to innovate are created when the industry structure change but not everybody is happy about it.
The latest news is about Apple’s ban of Google Voice. The FCC investigates Apple’s ban of Google Voice by FT article. The news is reported also by BusinessWeek, iPhone Apps: What Makes Apple Say No? and TechCrunch Apple Is Growing Rotten To The Core: Official Google Voice App Blocked From App Store.

As TechCrunch reports:

Of course, it’s not hard to guess who’s behind the restriction: our old friend AT&T. Google Voice scares the carriers. It allows users to send free SMS messages and get cheap long-distance over Google Voice’s lines. It also makes it trivial to switch to a new phone service, because everyone calls the Google Voice number anyway. Carriers have known about Google Voice for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that it began accepting new users, and there has still been some hassle associated with actually using the service. Smartphone apps like GV Mobile remove many of those hassles, which is why AT&T is keen to keep them off the iPhone

This “walled garden” is clearly against the interest of users and innovation. The FCC intervention is needed. The statement as reported by the FT:

The Federal Communications Commission has a mission to foster a competitive wireless marketplace, protect and empower consumers, and promote innovation and investment,” FCC Chair Jules Genachowski said in a statement.”‘

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