Apple seemingly wasn’t too happy that it was singled out for an 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, reports 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 unauthorized purchases …

Tim Cook said at the time of the settlement 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 will find itself next in line even though it too addressed the issue in a similar way.

(via Gigaom)

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15 Responses to “Apple’s top lawyer reported Google to FTC over in-app purchases by kids”

  1. Arnold Ziffel says:

    This is what Guugle gets for stabbing Apple in the back, but it’s nothing compared to what they deserve.


    • “Good artists copy, great artists steal… unless you’re Apple.” – Steve Jobs
      I added that part after the ellipses, but that is what happened.


    • rahhbriley says:

      You both are f*in idiots. That’s got nothing to do with the article. Take your troll bickering elsewhere. You’re both way over simplifying the situation which isn’t relevant to the topic at hand. Also, you’re furthering bad stereotypes, rehashing old arguments and using fallacies.


      • It’s a fallacy that Steve Jobs said that? Right. You’re the troll, I was replying to the OP about “Guugle stabbing Apple in the back”.


      • bb1111116 says:

        @ stuffradio; The “stabbing Apple in the back” comment I’m certain was referring to legal issues concerning software patent design and trademark which have led to certain court cases (Apple vs. Samsung for instance).

        By contrast the remark by Jobs, he believed, came from Picasso. More likely it came from Igor Stravinsky and William Faulkner. Either way Jobs was not talking about a legal opinion.
        – Jobs mentioned the idea that artists have taken ideas from other artists (often from previous artists).
        – Jobs was not making a legal argument about patents, copyright or trademarks.
        He was not stating that what he had done could result in legal action being taken against him.

        * Bottom line; Job’s comment about what artists have done has nothing to do with the legal disputes between Apple and Android OEMs (or with Google).


  2. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    Apple always seems to be under fire for things other companies are doing as well. It is only fair that those companies are met with the same consequences.


  3. I love the 5yr old methodology of Apple here! “Well, he was doing it too!”

    Honestly though, i’m all for the same punishment for everyone but its funny that Apple did that. Also, if you think Apple is the only one getting sued for things then get your head out of the apple its buried in. All large companies get the same level of picking-on by the government. Some get away with it, some dont and that changes all the time. Its a game. You win some, you loose some. So get a broader view of the industry before we start saying Apple is being picked on. If the US hates Apple so much then why do so many of the seats on both sides of Congress use iPhones and iPads?

    I also let my kids play with the iPad and Kindle Fire HDX we have in the house at night. We play outside as long as we can, Texas summers are hot afterall, but after they can play on the tablets in the house for a bit. I’ve seen them make it to the purchase area’s after a few minutes but since I dont auto login to anything and I watch my kids, its not a problem for me. But I can see where leaving your kids alone for a few mins can cause some headaches to the wallet.


  4. So “Lawyer follows the law” is a story now? Weird.

    How dare a lawyer report possible illegal behaviour. Who does he think he is? A Lawyer?


  5. What I don’t understand is why the government lawyers seem to be picking on Apple. Clearly they have also heard of Google and therefore they should have gone after all the big guys doing this.

    Instead of picking on Apple over antitrust issues in the eBook market, the government should have been looking at Amazon’s dominant share of eBooks (over 90% at one point) and the consequences of that.


  6. I hate that Apple or Google has to be responsible for poor parenting when they had their kids an iPad, iPhone, kindle etc with a credit card attached and give the kids the password. absolutely nothing can be purchased without that, and its not “too easy”.
    This is the sad fact that parents want everyone else to responsible for their actions.
    If you are worried about in app purchases, take your damn credit card off the account and use iTunes and google play cards.
    Better yet. Make your kids an iTunes / google acct that don’t have any Credit card attached.

    Stop being dumbasses and take responsibility for your own lazy ass parenting.