Apple reports Google to the FTC regarding in-app purchases by kids

It seems Apple isn’t too happy that it was singled out for a FTC investigation into “making it too easy for children to make in-app purchases”: following its own settlement back in January, the company’s general counsel Bruce Sewell promptly reported Google for the same thing, according to Politico.

“I thought this article might be of some interest, particularly if you have not already seen it,” Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell wrote to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Democratic Commissioner Julie Brill, pointing to a report that criticized Google’s app store over the same issue of unauthorised in-app purchases …

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Tim Cook said at the time of the settlement, in January, that it felt unfair to face FTC sanctions after a Federal judge had already approved Apple’s response of contacting all 28 million customers who might have been affected in order to reimburse them.

It doesn’t feel right for the FTC to sue over a case that had already been settled. To us, it smacked of double jeopardy. However, the consent decree the FTC proposed does not require us to do anything we weren’t already going to do, so we decided to accept it rather than take on a long and distracting legal fight.

Apple’s lead lawyer apparently contacted the FTC less than a week after its own settlement.

Behind the scenes, Apple sought to convince regulators it shouldn’t be singled out for blame. Sewell, the company’s general counsel, shared with Ramirez and Brill a Consumer Reports story that faulted Google for allowing your “kid to spend like a drunken sailor” for 30 minutes after an adult initially entered a password.

Amazon is already under investigation by the FTC for the same issue, despite having since changed its policies in line with those adopted by Apple, so it seems likely that Google might find itself next in line even though it has ,too, addressed the problem in a similar way.

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Shaminder Pal Singh

I am a student by day and tech blogger by night. I try to bring to the public the latest and greatest news from the tech world!

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