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)


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  • Roxy Balboa

    Why not. The law should not be selective.

  • Vicious Cur

    It’s no secret why Google has not been targeted.

    Before joining the FTC, Edith Ramirez was a partner with Quinn Emanuel, where she practiced intellectual property law. Quinn Emanuel represents Google and defends it and others (Samsung, etc.) when they’re sued for IP theft over the Android operating system.

    • RussellL

      Gee, I wonder why Google hasn’t been targeted. Why don’t you compare the amount of unauthorized charges from Apple and Google.

      “Apple may have made changes to its in-app purchasing protocols to safeguard against unwanted charges by minors, but the Cupertino company still shelled out more than $6,000 in order to cover the unauthorized purchases one British eight-year-old posted to her father’s account.”

      “Google is also facing a class action case over its app policy, led by a mother who says her 5-year-old spent $65 while playing “Marvel Run Jump Smash!”