FORTUNE -- Consumer Reports, which hasn't been particularly kind to the iPhone lately, came to Apple's (AAPL) defense Friday -- two days after the FTC declared a $35.2 million "victory for consumers" against the company.
According to the FTC, Apple failed to warn parents that by entering a password, they weren't just approving a single in-app purchase but were also letting their children make unlimited purchases for 15 minutes without further parental permission.
Is Google (GOOG) Play -- the Android version of the App Store -- any different? The FTC didn't say.
So Consumer Reports' Jeff Fox tried to reproduce on an Android device the horror story cited in the FTC's complaint: The child who managed to spend $2,600 on in-app purchases in the game Pet Hotel before Apple's 15-minute window closed.
On Google Play, it turns out, that window of unsupervised in-app purchasing is twice as long -- a full 30 minutes -- with no dollar limit and no on-screen parental warning. As Consumer Reports' headline put it "Google Play Store lets your kid spend like a drunken sailor."
"So what's the big deal?" Fox asks. "With the same few taps, an unsupervised child could just as easily have bought some Trove of Coins for $49.99 each, or maybe a bunch of Barrel of Treats for $99.99 apiece and run up a bill rivaling that of the girl whose mother had complained to the FTC."
Fox reached the FTC, but no one there would comment on whether there had been complaints about in-app purchases in Android games, or whether the commission might be going after Google next.
Sharp dissent among the commissioners who extracted a $32.5M settlement out of Apple.
FORTUNE -- There's fun to be had reading the documents that came with the Federal Trade Commission's announcement Wednesday that it had cut a $32.5 million deal with Apple (AAPL).
Apple was charged with letting kids spend millions on in-app purchases without their parents' consent. The company grudgingly agreed to settle.
The FTC's press release described the consent decree as a MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 15, 2014 6:12 PM ET
The search giant's $12.5 billion acquisition bid is a bold move that could reshape the mobile business. It's also fraught with potential pitfalls.
By Alex Konrad, contributor
FORTUNE -- Sometimes, plan B is pretty good. When Google missed out on buying Nortel Networks' patent hoard earlier this summer, few could have predicted it would make a stunning $12.5 billion cash bid for Motorola Mobility.
The move is sure to change Google's (GOOG) business, MOREAug 18, 2011 10:33 AM ET
Google has agreed to receive an independent review of their privacy procedures once every two years as well as a user opt-in requirement before privacy changes are enacted.
In a blog post today, Google (GOOG) outlined an agreement with the FTC over privacy concernes connected to the release of Google Buzz in February of 2010. Specifically, if users took no action to change defaults, Google disclosed on users' Google profile a MORESeth Weintraub - Mar 30, 2011 11:01 AM ET
Every day, the Fortune staff spends hours poring over tech stories, posts, and reviews from all over the Web to keep tabs on the companies that matter. We've assembled the day's most newsworthy bits below.
"I remember him [Larry Ellison] very distinctly telling me one time: Bruce, we can't be successful unless we lie to customers. ... All the things that you would read in books of somebody being a leader, MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Dec 2, 2010 6:00 AM ET
With partners, developers, competitors and maybe some regulatory agencies
One of Apple's (AAPL) weaknesses as a company -- as even Steve Jobs will admit -- is that it isn't a particularly good neighbor. Like its co-founder and CEO, it can be secretive, prickly and quick to take offense. Witness, for example, the 121 pending lawsuits that list Apple as a plaintiff or defendant.
So it's unusual and sort of refreshing to see MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 19, 2010 8:27 AM ET
Steve Jobs once called Flash the No. 1 reason his devices crash. What changed his mind?
With a terse, five-paragraph statement issued Thursday morning, Apple (AAPL) reversed a five-month-old policy that had sparked an industry-wide debate, a government probe and tens of thousands of words of heated commentary -- including Steve Jobs' own April 2010 "Thoughts on Flash."
The newly inoperative policy had prohibited software developers from using cross-platform tools when MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 9, 2010 10:24 AM ET
In theory, it sounds like a no-brainer. In practice, such a government-run registry could do more harm than good.
The Internet is an awesome free-for-all of services and content. It's also a terrifying space, one where bits of information about who you are and what you're doing continually float around like cyber flotsam and jetsam, only to be picked apart by outside parties for their own devices. As a result, privacy MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Aug 24, 2010 2:19 PM ET
No longer an industry underdog, the company must tread more carefully, says an analyst
In a note to clients issued Tuesday, Barclays Capital's Ben Reitzes has added his voice to the chorus of commentators with free advice for Apple's (AAPL) executive team, now that it's caught the eye of federal regulators.
The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly won the toss and is looking into two possible antitrust issues: Adobe's (ADBE) complaint MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 15, 2010 11:12 AM ET
Apple is likely to duck these bullets, say two analysts, but every case increases its risk
Absent a "smoking gun," neither the Federal Trade Commission nor the Department of Justice is likely to take Apple (AAPL) to court for antitrust violations, according to a note to clients issued Friday by Stifel Nicolas's Rebecca Arbogast and George Askew.
Apple has credible justifications, they write, for both complaints that have been lodged against it: MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 11, 2010 10:15 AM ET
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