Report: Apple Signs FTC Consent Decree

by Joe Juba on Jan 15, 2014 at 06:18 AM

In-app purchases are part of the mobile ecosystem, but Apple drew attention from the FTC regarding the steps it was taking to keep children from making unauthorized purchases. Though the affair began years ago (and led to a lawsuit in which Apple settled), the company has now reportedly signed an FTC consent decree that addresses the issue.  

According to a report from Re/Code, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a memo to staff explaining the reasoning behind the deal. It reads, in part:

"I want to let you know that Apple has entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. We have been negotiating with the FTC for several months over disclosures about the in-app purchase feature of the App Store, because younger customers have sometimes been able to make purchases without their parents’ consent."

and later:

"The consent decree the FTC proposed does not require us to do anything we weren’t already going to do, so we decided to accept it rather than take on a long and distracting legal fight."

The full details aren't available yet, but Cook certainly makes it seem like the deal is not going to disrupt Apple's plans for the app store or how purchases function.

[Source: Re/code]


Our Take
Apple's efforts to make good after the initial settlement, which included iTunes gift cards and cash refunds, seemed like appropriate recompense. We won't know what the consequences would have been had Apple defied the FTC in this case, but it's good the know that company will be taking steps to prevent excessive, unauthorized purchases.