AT&T Inc, the exclusive carrier for the iPhone, said on Friday it played no role in a decision by Apple Inc to reject Google Inc's voice application on the handset.
Let me state unequivocally, AT&T had no role in any decision by Apple to not accept the Google Voice application for inclusion in the Apple App Store, said Jim Cicconi, AT&T senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs.
AT&T was not asked about the matter by Apple at any time, nor did we offer any view one way or the other, Cicconi said in a statement, accompanying a response to a regulatory inquiry into the rejection of Google's voice application by Apple.
Regulators at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sent letters on July 31 asking the three companies for more information on the matter. Responses were due on Friday.
The Google application is seen by some as a competitive threat to the voice services that come with the iPhone, which is carried exclusively in the United States by AT&T.
On Friday, Google filed a response letter with the FCC but redacted for the media and the public the explanation for why Apple rejected is voice application.
The Mountain View, California-based company said in the letter that it had no additional proposed iPhone applications pending with Apple.
Apple was not available for comment.
The issue may have far reaching implications for the U.S. telecom industry because depending on how the FCC responds it could either pave the way for new entrants or hinder their ability to use large carriers' phones to offer discount services.
The FCC is taking a fresh look at the state of the fast changing wireless industry while focusing on competition, innovation and investment.
With some prodding from several U.S. senators, the FCC is also reviewing exclusive handset arrangements between wireless carriers and cell phone makers and how they affect competition and choice in the marketplace.
(Reporting by John Poirier; Additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York and Gabriel Madway in San Francisco; Editing by Gary Hill, Toni Reinhold)