Federal Trade Commission ▪ July 29

Federal Trade Commission ▪ May 19

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Google’s family-friendly YouTube Kids app has been hit with a second complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, this time accusing it of containing inappropriate content, including sexually-explicit language and “jokes about pedophilia.” This follows a complaint last month that the app was “deceptive to children” in the way it mixed ads into the programming.

The WSJ reports that the complaint was sent by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy.

Examples of what the non-profit groups found include: explicit sexual language in cartoons; jokes about pedophilia and drug use; activities such as juggling knives, tasting battery acid, and making a noose; and adult discussions about family violence, pornography, and child suicide.

The group created a video (below) illustrating the inappropriate content found …  expand full story

Federal Trade Commission ▪ April 15

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As expected, the EU has formally accused Google of abusing its dominant position in search to favor links to its own products over those offered by competitors. The complaint takes the form of a Statement of Objections: a formal method of announcing that it believes Google has acted illegally and that a full investigation is underway.

The Commission’s preliminary view is that such conduct infringes EU antitrust rules because it stifles competition and harms consumers. EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that “Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.”

Google has not wasted any time in attempting to convince the Commission otherwise, arguing in a blog post that the evidence shows that Google has not harmed traffic to competitor websites …  expand full story

Federal Trade Commission ▪ March 31

Federal Trade Commission ▪ March 26

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The Federal Trade Commission has issued a statement denying the WSJ‘s suggestion that the decision to clear Google of anti-competitive behavior was “a close call.”

The WSJ yesterday obtained part of one of the investigative reports, which included a sentence reading “Although it is a close call, we do not recommend that the Commission issue a complaint against Google for this conduct.”

As we stated when the investigation was closed, the Commission concluded that Google’s search practices were not, “on balance, demonstrably anticompetitive.”

Contrary to recent press reports, the Commission’s decision on the search allegations was in accord with the recommendations of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Economics, and Office of General Counsel.

The FTC describes the WSJ story as “misleading” …  expand full story

Federal Trade Commission ▪ July 10, 2014

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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:

expand full story

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