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Is Apple No to Google Voice Really SEC Love?

There's plenty of speculation about Apple turning down Google Voice for its app store and whether the real instigator is AT&T wanting to protect its traffic. That might be, except that Google Voice still depends on either having existing phone service or paying the data charges to run a VoIP link, like Skype. In either case, AT&T makes money -- well, for at least as long as AT&T keeps the iPhone to itself. So how about a different view? Maybe it's nothing to do at all with AT&T and all about the Securities Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Let's remember that there's currently a fair amount of controversy about how chummy Apple and Google have been, particularly in having two board directors in common. Things even got to the point where it sounded like the Apple board would consider whether having Eric Schmidt as a director would continue to be wise. But you haven't heard anything else about it, right? Maybe this whole Google Voice conflict has been a carefully constructed PR move to demonstrate that there is real competition between the two and that neither company is selling its investors or consumers out to the other. It's classic misdirection and the sort of thing that you might expect from sophisticated media campaigners.

It might be that I'm barking up the wrong tree and that AT&T is the real instigator. However, it would be foolish not to at least consider whether something far more convoluted and sneaky is underway.

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