Well... Apple wants to control their sandbox. They can have it and keep it! I never owned or will ever buy absolutely any of their products because of this reason. Linux is the way even with the limitations that come with it.
It comes down to this simple fact- AT&T claims to have had no "direct" effect of the approval of specific apps on the app store. However, Apple's contract with AT&T, in a manner of speaking, forces Apple to personally squash problematic app submissions without AT&T having to act.
So, yes, AT&T haters- they are still putting the screws to Apple, just indirectly.