Google Settles In-App Purchasing Suit for $19M
Google today agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over unauthorized in-app purchases made by children. Google will pay the FTC a fine of $19 million to settle charges that it was too easy for kids to spend money on applications without obtaining the account holder's consent. Google also has to put more safeguards in place so customers' accounts are not hit with unauthorized in-app charges. Apple reached a similar settlement with the FTC in January, though it is paying $32.5 million.
Google Testing 3rd-Party Email Access in iOS Gmail App
Google is allowing people to use their non-Gmail email service within the Gmail app for iOS. Apple's own iOS email app and Microsoft's Outlook email app both already support multiple email services, as does Gmail on Android handsets.
Amazon Held Responsible for Kids' In-App Purchases
A federal judge says Amazon deserves to be on the hook for charges rung up by children on mobile devices. Consumers complained it was too easy for children to spend money on in-app purchases without proper authorization.
T-Mobile to Explore Settlement with FTC Over Cramming
T-Mobile has signaled to the Federal Trade Commission it is interested in reaching a settlement regarding accusations it unfairly profited from bogus charges foisted onto customers' bills. The FTC sued T-Mobile over its cramming practices, despite T-Mobile's attempts to preempt such legal action by banning premium content and offering refunds to customers.
T-Mobile Settles FCC Cramming Charges for $90 Million
T-Mobile today agreed to pay the FTC and FCC a total of $90 million to settle accusations that the company was complicit in allowing third-parties to charge customers for unwanted services. An FTC and FCC investigation found T-Mobile guilty of breaking the law by "engaging in an unjust and unreasonable practice of billing consumers for products or services they had not authorized; and failing to provide a brief, clear, non-misleading, plain language description of the third-party charges on the telephone bills sent to consumers." A minimum of $67.5 million of the fine will be set aside to repay customers who claim they were overcharged.