Ftc

Apple sends out refund instructions for unauthorized in-app purchases

Apple is sending letters to eligible customers regarding its recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission regarding in-app purchases, offering refunds for some instances where children were able to make these purchases without the parents' knowledge or permission. In order to claim their refund, customers will need to find their in-app purchase records, send their request to Apple, and provide details about the purchases.

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Did the FTC unfairly target Apple and let Google get away in-app free?

Earlier this week the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Apple would be coughing up at least $32 million for failing to properly inform parents about a 15-minute window that exists, post-password entry, through which their children could make additional purchases and rack up charges. The consent decree has been called into question by Apple and by individuals, based on precedent and based on conspiracy theories. Here's a sampling:

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DOJ vs. FTC: Apple knows when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em

Earlier today the FTC announced a $32.5 million decree against Apple over the way it handles in-app purchases. The FTC says that Apple failed to inform parents when their kids might run up huge bills in in-app purchases, and needs to do a better job. The FTC also wants Apple to pay out claims for those in-app purchases to the tune of (at least) $32.5 million.

Quite frankly, that's chump change for Apple.

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FTC ropes Apple for at least another $32 million in in-app purchase repayments

The Federal Trade Commission is requiring Apple to change its practices for in-app Purchases and to refund money parents have already paid. Although Apple's already settled a class-action lawsuit over in-app Purchases, that isn't enough, according to the FTC.

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FTC may sue Google over antitrust violations stemming from FRAND patent abuse

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recommended to the commission that Google should be sued for violation of antitrust laws regarding patents. Google is attempting to block import of products from both Apple and Microsoft, which rely on industry-standard technology, and the FTC may be inclined to sue Google in order to get them to offer reasonable licensing deals. Google’s efforts are actually a continuation of those of Motorola Mobility, purchased by Google late last year. One of the key factors in Google’s decision to buy the company was their portfolio of patents, many of which cover industry-standard technology such as 3G wireless and video streaming. The FTC investigation revolves around questions of licensing.

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Apple subpoenaed by the FTC in Google antitrust probe

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has subpoenaed Apple to testify in their ongoing antitrust investigation again Google. Specifically, they're interested in the deal Google made to be the default search engine on the iPhone. Since Google enjoys an incredibly dominant market position in search, the government wants to find out if they're abusing that position to unfairly keep out competitors.

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FTC investigating Smurfberries, other in-app purchases

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has said they will be investigating in-app purchases for applications marketed to children, such as Smurfs' Village. The argument is that some children do not understand the difference between real and virtual purchases.

In a letter to Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz wrote:

We fully share your concern that consumers, particularly children, are unlikely to understand the ramifications of these types of purchases. Let me assure you we will look closely at the current industry practice with respect to the marketing and delivery of these types of applications.

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Investigating Apple

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Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission jostling over inquiry into Apple restriction on cross-compilers

Citing the usual "people familiar with the matter", the New York Post claims the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commissions are negotiating over which one of their organizations will inquire into Apple's new iPhone OS 4 SDK section 3.3.1 -- the restriction against cross-compilers in general and Adobe's Flash CS5 Packager for iPhone in specific.

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