Apple points regulators to Google's practices

Politico reported Wednesday that Apple, under scrutiny for its billing practices for so-called “in-App purchases” from the Federal Trade Commission, pointed regulators to an article about Google’s practices.

The regulators were looking at Apple practices that had allowed kids to spend within an application on an iPhone or iPad without getting additional parental permission.

Apple had already changed its practices before the FTC investigated. Still, the company had to further alter its billing practices and pay $32 million in refunds to parents.

But Bruce Sewell, Apple’s general counsel, apparently took advantage of having regulators’ attention to point to a potential issue with its arch rival, Google.

In an email to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Democratic Commissioner Julie Brill, Sewell pointed to an article that was critical of Google’s app store for the same issue. Politico reported that it obtained the email through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Google faces a class-action suit over its policy, reports Gigaom, although the search giant is not currently under FTC scrutiny. The FTC is currently investigating Amazon for a similar app policy. Amazon has said it has done nothing wrong, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Above: Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, at the firm’s World Wide Developers’ Conference in June. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Michelle Quinn Michelle Quinn (144 Posts)

Michelle Quinn is a Business Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to her current role, she was the Silicon Valley correspondent at Politico covering tech policy and politics. She has also covered the tech industry at the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She was a blogger for the New York Times.