Apple Points Finger at Google after $32.5 Million FTC Settlement

Jul 10, 2014 04:39 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

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Apparently Apple doesn't want to be alone in shelling out millions to customers for allegedly making it too easy for children to spend money on in-app purchases.  

Following a $32.5 million settlement in January, Apple's top lawyer emailed a report to the Federal Trade Commission that said Google was also guilty of allowing unauthorized app purchases, CNET reported.

"I thought this article might be of some interest, particularly if you have not already seen it," Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell wrote to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Democratic Commissioner Julie Brill in an email first reported by Politico.

The email, which Politico obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, was sent about a week after Apple agreed to a settlement with the FTC.

Google and Apple are already sworn Silicon Valley rivals, and Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has been fighting Google-owned Android in court for years over alleged copyright infringements.

Apple counsel Sewell sent a Consumer Reports article that criticized a 30-minute window that allows kids to make unlimited app purchases after a password is entered.

As part of the settlement, Apple was required to change its billing methods to ensure that users are consenting to the purchase.

"This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple's unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you're doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply," Ramirez wrote at the time.

The FTC said it received "at least tens of thousands of complaints" from parents who "reported millions of dollars in unauthorized charges," according to Politico.

For now, Amazon is the company in the hot seat after parents sued the company for allegedly charging them millions for in-app purchases made by their children, USA TODAY reported. 

"We are seeking refunds for affected parents and a court order to ensure that Amazon gets parents' consent for in-app purchases," Ramirez said in a statement. 

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