Antitrust and Communications Policy: There's an App for Just About Anything, Except Google Voice

SMU Science and Technology Law Review, Vol. 14, p. 1, 2010

44 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2010 Last revised: 28 Oct 2012

See all articles by Jason Croft

Jason Croft

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Date Written: January 11, 2010

Abstract

This Article examines the FCC’s ongoing investigation of Apple’s handling of an application submitted to Apple’s AppStore. The application, called Google Voice, was intended for installation on Apple’s popular iPhone. This Article will analyze Apple's alleged rejection of Google Voice from the FCC's perspective. The article discusses the Apple's conduct through the lens of the Sherman Act. First, this Article will explore the relevant market definition. Next, the article will determine whether Apple possesses market power and monopoly power over the relevant market. This article will then analyze various theories of antitrust liability, such as whether Apple’s treatment of the Google Voice application amounts to an abuse of monopoly power under Section 2 and whether Apple has a legal duty to deal with Google. This Article also will discuss whether Apple and AT&T have conspired to exclude Google from the iPhone application aftermarket, or at least foreclose Google. Additionally, this Article will discuss the relationship between iPhones and the aftermarket applications and whether this relationship is illegal tying. This Article compares Apple’s alleged rejection to the watershed decision in Carterfone and provides recommendations to the FCC on how to handle the ongoing inquiry. This Article also discusses considerations relevant to a recent FCC notice of proposed rulemaking to require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) including wireless ISPs to observe network neutrality principles to allow consumers to access the content of their choice and attach the devices of their choice, subject to reasonable network management.

Keywords: Google Voice, Google, Voice, Antitrust, Duty to Deal, Deal, Tying, Market, Product, FCC, Federal Communications, Communications, DOJ, Aftermarket, Relevant Market, Geographic Market, Market Power, Monopoly, Monopoly Power, Abuse, Abuse of Monopoly Power, Conspiracy, Foreclosure, Notice of Proposed

Suggested Citation

Croft, Jason, Antitrust and Communications Policy: There's an App for Just About Anything, Except Google Voice (January 11, 2010). SMU Science and Technology Law Review, Vol. 14, p. 1, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1636790

Jason Croft (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

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