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From AT&Ts Mouth to FCCs Ears: Google in Trouble

Google Inc. (GOOG) is under scrutiny by the FCC after AT&T Inc. (T) complained that Google blocks Internet calling to certain parts of the country.

The issue really is about intercarrier compensation; AT&T insists Google is avoiding paying origination and termination charges by not sending calls to high-rate areas in the first place. AT&T also is worried Google will have an unfair advantage if the two companies aren’t playing by the same rules.

The FCC sort of seems to agree. On Friday, the agency sent a letter to Google, telling it call block is verboten, wanting to know how Google chooses which calls to restrict and whether its service should fall under the “telecommunications service” definition.

Google contends Google Voice is not a telecom service because it does not replace landline use and it only has a handful of users.

The FCC sent its letter to the Web giant after 20 Republicans and Democrats earlier this week asked for an investigation into Google’s ability to block calls.


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