The FTC came down hard on Apple earlier this year for its lack of parental controls for in-app purchases on iOS, so Apple did what anyone caught red handed would do — they ratted out the competition too.
A week after news of the FTC’s investigation broke, Apple’s SVP of legal, Bruce Sewell sent an email to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Commissioner Julie Brill, linking to a scathing Consumer Affairs report that claimed Google Play kids could spend money like drunken sailors.
“I thought this article might be of some interest, particularly if you have not already seen it,” Sewell writes to Ramirez and Brill, in an email obtained by Politico.
In-app purchases on iOS came under fire in 2012 with the rise of pay-to-play apps that took advantage of the App Store’s 15 to 30 minute purchase window that let kids rack up huge iTune charges on their parents credit cards by buying extra items in the games.
Apple quickly choose to pay a $32.5 million settlement for the issue and the FTC has already adjusted its aim toward the Amazon app store, but Google could be next. Whether the FTC is going to take action against Google for kids’ in-app purchases isn’t clear yet. It’s likely that the two sides are in talks, but Google has already fixed some of the issues on it’s own, so we might not hear anything until a settlement is announced.