FTC now alleging Amazon is also unlawfully billing parents for children’s in-app-purchases

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Amazon is now a part of the Federal Trade Commission’s investigations into technology corporations with mobile application marketplaces unlawfully billing parents for in-app-purchases. Both Apple and Google have been tangled in the allegations with Apple settling earlier this year and Apple telling the FTC to investigate Google. The FTC today announced it is filing a complaint against Amazon, saying that children have been able to buy goods and extras within apps without the consent of parents. The full release from the FTC can be found below:

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Google reportedly planning to expand home delivery service Shopping Express nationwide

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Re/code piece on Google’s Shopping Express service says that the company is investing $500M to expand the service beyond San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City and roll it out nationally.

The service lets shoppers buy things from local retail stores through Google, which then delivers them to consumers from the physical retail store on the same or next day.

A source familiar with the company’s plans says senior Google execs have set aside as much as $500 million to expand the service nationwide …

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Report: Amazon to launch streaming music service in June/July, but only with 6 month old songs

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With Apple having just acquired Beats Electronics, Amazon is apparently preparing to launch its own streaming music service. According to a new report out of BuzzFeed, Amazon has just signed deals with two of the three major labels. Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group have both signed on, while Universal Music is still pondering the deal.

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Leaked photos of Bluetooth controller add weight to Amazon’s TV box incorporating games

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Rumors that Amazon’s set-top TV box will double as a games console have been lent weight by photos of a Bluetooth controller claimed to have been discovered in an overseas regulatory filing by Zatznotfunny.

The wireless Bluetooth controller features a gaggle of controls, including both shoulder buttons and triggers, in addition to media playback transport controls. And we give Amazon credit for using Android-esque icons for home, menu, and back …  Read more

Opinion: Will the spring launch of Amazon/Nexus/Apple TV signal the beginning of the end of live, broadcast TV?

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Streaming TV is heating-up. Amazon looks set to launch its TV box in March, we’re expecting Apple to announce a new Apple TV box in April, and Google is reputed to be not far behind with a Nexus-branded box.

So-called cord-cutting – people who give up their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming content over the web – is growing in popularity. Mobile TV viewing on tablets is increasingly common.

All of which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of live TV … ?  Read more

Amazon’s long-rumored Roku-like TV box to launch next month?

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Image: digitaltrends.com

Amazon’s TV box, which the company is believed to have been working on for around a year, is to be launched next month, according to unnamed content distribution sources cited by re/code. It had originally been expected to be launched in time for last year’s holiday sales.

People I’ve talked to who are partnering with Amazon believe the company is aiming for a March rollout [...]

Sources tell me Amazon’s box will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, which is also not a surprise — Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets use a “forked” version of Android …  Read more