Apple Inc. Asks FTC To Look At Google Play’s In-App Purchases

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s lawyer recently urged the Federal Trade Commission to look into Google Play after it was singled out during an investigation. The company’s lawyer George Sewell prompted Edith Ramirez (chairman for FTC) and Julie Brill (democratic commissioner) to a report that criticized its rival’s in-app purchase policies.

Amazon’s current fight with the FTC, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), which runs a modified version of Android on its Kindle Fire devices, is already under scrutiny over similar issues. Last week, the online retail giant vowed to battled the FTC over claims of allowing kids to make unauthorized in-app purchases. The FTC sent a draft lawsuit to the Seattle-based e-tailer which responded with their own letter to Ramirez. The letter stated that the company already sent refunds to customers who complained as well as launch a set of parental controls which enable parents to control what their kids can download.

Amazon’s refusal to agree with FTC on settlement likely means a lawsuit in the near future. Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission fined Apple $32.5 for similar problems.

A look back at Apple’s previous investigations

Back in 2011, the FTC launched investigation into freemium games and content targeting children after many consumer complaints. One of the most notable instances is when a child spent over $6,000 on in-app purchases through Apple’s App Store. The kids parents were subsequently refunded the money. Other families banded together against Apple in the form of a class-action lawsuit and the Cupertino-based tech giant caved in by offering full refunds and iTunes credits. Despite Apple’s attempts to make things right, the FTC still pursued Apple on its own and made an agreement Apple went along with.

Thanks to Apple’s prompting, it looks like the Federal Trade Commission will soon conduct their own investigation of Google’s Play Store and write up an agreement of terms.

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