Apple Tattled on Google to Draw FTC Attention to Similar Kids In-App Purchasing Issue

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Earlier this year, Apple entered into an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, promising to provide $32 million in refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items.

    As it turns out, while Apple was being targeted by the FTC for letting children make in-app purchases without parental consent, the company was attempting to get Google in trouble for doing the same thing. According to a report from Politico, head Apple lawyer Bruce Sewell sent the FTC a report highlighting the same in-app purchase issues in Google's own Play store.
    Apple has long faced issues over in-app purchases, with the company first landing in hot water with the FTC after multiple parental complaints over children over-spending within apps and several high profile stories of children spending thousands of dollars. While most of the focus has been on Apple, Google too has faced the same issues, as children were able to make purchases for up to 30 minutes after a parent entered a password, much as they could in the App Store before Apple implemented specific changes.

    Apple was not happy to be singled out by the FTC over in-app purchases, as the company had previously settled a lawsuit levied at it over the issue. Under the terms of the lawsuit, Apple had agreed to provide iTunes credit and cash refunds to parents, but the FTC demanded more.

    At the time, Tim Cook said the FTC's decision to sue over a previously settled case "smacked of double jeopardy," but agreed to the terms as it didn't "require us to do anything we weren't already going to do."

    Apple officially began sending emails to affected iTunes users and issuing refunds in March. Google has thus far not been targeted by the FTC.

    Article Link: Apple Tattled on Google to Draw FTC Attention to Similar Kids In-App Purchasing Issue
  2. macrumors 68000


    Jun 21, 2007
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    Tattled? Is this place being run by children?!
  3. macrumors 6502


    Nov 23, 2007
    I still don't see why this is a government issue. Its was clearly in the settings to disable the 30 minute window after entering a password. Apple should refund them because its the right thing to do, but I don't see why the government should be getting involved.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Dec 9, 2008
    This doesn't really seem like tattling; it seems more bizarre that Apple was being singled out over something Google was equally guilty of.


    Perhaps Freddie Lounds is behind this story.
  5. macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2005
    This isn't telling the teacher your classmate is being naughty, it's massive companies who should be treated equally by the likes of the FTC. So I don't see the problem with Apple suggesting the FTC look at Google over the same issues.
  6. macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    'Tattled'... Just love the language this site is using lately :rolleyes:
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2012
    Houston, TX
  8. macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2013
    "Tattled" on? Let me double check that my 4 year old niece didn't write this article.
  9. macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2011
  10. macrumors member


    May 23, 2010
    On an active volcano
    You mean Apple pointed the finger at Google also. IDK if "Tattled" is the word to describe it. When it comes to taking advantage of a family with money, especially with the younger kids. Apple said "ok, we were wrong, refund." Apple saw Google taking advantage of families too and said "stop and pay up too, its wrong we both stealing candy from kids."
  11. macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    Apple wets diaper, blames Google

    A spokespersons for Google issued this statement, “Apple is a poo-poo head”, and was afterwards put down for a nap.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2012
    Los Altos CA
    I'm glad to see the FTC taking action. But where were they when phone companies have been cramming, when teen-agers racked up massive messaging charges for years, when airlines slam with extra charges, ditto cable/sat tv companies that keep adding on charges? I'm on "do not call" and get solicitors all the time.

    As far as I can tell, both Apple and Google are FAR LESS guilty than so many others. Both have been quick to remedy. Maybe that is why they rate so highly in customer sat surveys.

    Now, T-Mobile's CEO is fighting back too, basically making the same case as Apple and Google.

    Is Apple tattling? or are they asking the FTC to play fair?

    Maybe the FTC should start with companies that have low customer sat ratings to find the real predators.
  13. macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    I read "tattled" as "informed them of similar issues on a rival platform".

    Can't see much wrong in that myself.
  14. macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2011
    another quality story from macrumors. keep up the good work.
  15. macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    since its affecting users beyond just the ios platform i cant see what is wrong with making the ftc aware of it. hopefully they are adequate enough in their job that they didnt need this heads up.

    but i dont like the side of apple this shows.
  16. macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    Why would Tim Cook spend time complaining about what a "Toxic Hellstew" is doing? He brushes Android aside, saying it is pathetic and hardly worth mentioning, and then turns around and does this? Slightly inconsistent.
  17. macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Real classy Apple. If we're going down then we're taking you all with us mentality.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2014
    Apple and Google are getting grilled by hundreds of parents who trusted their kids with their money. Mostly the parents' fault… but (most) in-app purchases are stupid and should die, so I have no sympathy for either company :cool:
  19. macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    It is just inconsistent of Tim. One minute he is dismissing Android as having negligible impact or value on the industry, and the next he is concerning himself with it as if Android is on par with iOS. Says one thing at conferences, behaves differently elsewhere.
  20. macrumors G3


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Bingo, level the playing field.
  21. firedept, Jul 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014

    macrumors demi-god


    Jul 8, 2011
    I think what Apple did was right considering the market share that Google holds. If I am correct, it is larger than Apple's, so therefore Google stood to profit more from the same thing the FTC was going after Apple for.
  22. macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    I agree. But Tim Cook does not publicly acknowledge Android to be even close to existing on the same playing field.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2014
    Porto, Portugal
    Do you even know what you said? Why should able be treated differently from Google? Why do they have more responsibility? Why are you, someone with access to information, even saying this?
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2014
    The App Store actually produces more profit for Apple than Google Play produces for Google, currently.
  25. macrumors 68020

    Nov 4, 2008
    You make it sound like Apple took a look at themselves and said, ‘Hmmm we can be more responsible if we….it’s the right thing to do’.
    I’m not sure they did. What I do think is that Apple reacted to massive global pressure from parents, users and orgs like the consumers association.
    I love Apple products but the company is cut throat make no mistake.

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