FTC approves Sony settlement plan for misleading PS Vita advertising

April 6, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Late last year Sony announced that it had settled with the Federal Trade Commission over claims that it falsely advertised the capabilities of its PS Vita. From late 2011 to early 2012. As part of the settlement SCEA agreed to provide refunds to Vita customers who purchased the device before June 1, 2012. They will dole out a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 voucher for select games and services.

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Federal Court says FTC case against AT&T for throttling unlimited data mobile customers can proceed

April 1, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Ars Technica reports that a federal judge has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission does have jurisdiction to sue AT&T for allegedly throttling customers. In its argument before the federal court, AT&T - who hates net neutrality and didn't want to be classified as a common carrier - said that the FTC did not have jurisdiction to take it to court because it is... a common carrier.

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AT&T Continues To Throttle Mobile Unlimited Data Customers

March 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Here's a disconcerting report from Ars Technica about how AT&T is still throttling mobile unlimited data plan customers and the FCC probably won't do much to stop them - at least for now. And all of this is after the fact that the FCC put tighter restrictions on throttling in its late February meeting. It did not however specifically use the term "ban."

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Poll: Should the FCC Exempt Municipal Broadband Providers From Common Carrier Status?

February 11, 2015 - Andrew Eisen

The FCC seems gung ho about reclassifying broadband and mobile internet providers as common carriers in order to enforce net neutrality rules but it seems municipal broadband providers want none of that.

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TracFone Pays $40 Million Settlement to FTC For Throttling 'Unlimited' Customers

February 6, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP sent out a note detailing the settlement between the Federal Trade Commission and TracFone Wireless, a budget-priced mobile phone carrier that does a good percentage of its business in convenience stores and retailers like Walmart.

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Google Play Customers Might Be Entitled To A Refund For In-App Purchases

December 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Google is mailing customers of its Android app store Google Play to let them know that if they made an in-app purchase between March 1, 2011, and November 18, 2014 they may be eligible for a refund. The email to customers is being prompted by a settlement between Google and the Federal Trade Commission over children making in-app purchases without their parents' consent or permission. Apple made a similar settlement with the FTC over in-app purchases.

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SCEA Settles With FTC Over PS Vita False Advertising Claims

November 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony Computer Entertainment America has settled a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over claims that it falsely advertised the capabilities of its PS Vita, according to Joystiq. From late 2011 to early 2012. As part of the settlement SCEA has agreed to provide refunds to Vita customers who purchased the device before June 1, 2012. They will dole out a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 voucher for select games and services.

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FTC Commissioner Concerned About The FCC's Plan To Reclassify Broadband

September 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In an interview with CSPAN, Maureen Ohlhausen, a Republican commissioner with the Federal Trade Commission says that the FCC's plans to reclassify broadband as a "common carrier" under Title II of the Telecommunications Act (as part of a tweak to make net neutrality rules enforceable) would strip the agency of its ability to enforce consumer protection rules.

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FTC Begins Cracking Down on COPPA Violators

September 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this VentureBeat report, the federal government is beginning to crack down on companies that are allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a statement on its blog this week announcing a $450,000 settlement with Yelp for collecting the personal information (names and other personal identifiers) of children in violation of COPPA.

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Google To Pay $19 Million Settlement In FTC In-App Purchase Suit

September 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Trade Commission announced that Google has agreed to pay $19 million to consumers (parents) whose children made purchases through Google Play without their express consent or permission. The FTC alleged that Google was unfairly billing account holders on its Google Play market for Android-based mobile and tablet devices by not getting express authorization from parents when kids bought things both in the store and within apps.

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FTC Sues Amazon Over In-App Purchases

July 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Amazon said in June that it would fight the Federal Trade Commission if it tried to make it settle complaints from parents who claim they did not authorize purchases for their children on various apps in its store. Apple settled a lawsuit in January to the tune of $32.5 million, but Amazon wrote a letter to the FTC last month telling them that they would not settle because they have been making changes to how children have access to purchasing power within its store and the apps that appear in it.

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Report: Apple Tattled on Google to FTC About In-App Purchase Policies

July 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In January of this year Apple was the first company to settle with the Federal Trade Commission over Apple’s handling of in-app purchases. The company agreed to make it harder for children to purchase in-game content and apps without the express consent of parents or guardians, and Apple agreed to pay out $32.5 million to parents affected by its lax policy - and if the payouts were less than that amount the balance of the settlement would go to the FTC.

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Amazon Refuses to Settle With FTC Over In-App Purchases

July 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Amazon is refusing to comply with a Federal Trade Commission settlement plan related to in-app purchases. Apple settled for $32.5 million in refunds to parents who claim they were billed for games and in-app content their children were playing on their mobile or tablet devices without their express consent. Apple was also ordered to change its billing practices to make sure that in-app purchases require consent from parents or device owners before transactions could be completed.

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Apple Shows Customers How to Get Refunds for 'Unauthorized In-App Purchases'

April 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Apple has laid out the steps consumers need to take in order to get a refund for unapproved in-app purchases in iOS apps, Polygon reports. The refund process is part of the company's efforts to fulfill its part in a recent $32.5 million settlement of a federal complaint.

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Sen. Al Franken Tells FCC, FTC, and DOJ Comcast-TWC Merger Goes in the 'Wrong Direction'

February 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) has come out strongly against a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, Sen. Franken said that there is already not enough competition in this [we assume he means broadband and cable television] space and this deal goes in the wrong direction. He also said that he is thinks this deal will increase cable prices and decreased the quality of service for Time Warner Cable customers.

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Report: Comcast to Buy Time Warner Cable

February 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Comcast is expected to announce a deal worth $44 billion to buy out rival cable operator Time Warner Cable today, according to a Bloomberg report. The company will reportedly announce today that it plans to pay $159 a share to Time Warner Stock holders.

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Report: Some Developers Pay a Fee to be Featured on Conan O’Brien's 'Clueless Gamer'

January 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While it's fun watching "Clueless Gamer," Conan O’Brien's regular segment where he plays video games and makes witty comments for his show on TBS, apparently it can cost a developer or publisher a lot of money to get air time on the show. While not everyone pays to be on the show, about a quarter of the products featured on the segment have to pay some sort of fee. The show does not disclose this fact either.

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FTC: Microsoft and EA Are Not Breaking Any Laws With YouTube Paid Endorsement Schemes

January 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Microsoft (through a marketing partnership with Machinima) and Electronic Arts (through its "Ronku" marketing program) paying content creators to promote its games to followers on YouTube without disclosing the relationship may be unethical, neither company is breaking the law and it is unlikely that anyone involved could be fined for not disclosing a relationship according to what a Federal Trade Commission spokesperson tells Polygon.

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FTC: Apple Must Refund $32.5 Million to Consumers of Children's App Purchases

January 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Trade Commission ruled this week that Apple must refund at least $32.5 million to parents whose children made in-app purchases on iOS devices without their consent. In its ruling, the agency said that Apple did not do enough to ensure purchases made by children were knowingly authorized by their parents. The FTC also highlighted a practice it did not like: allowing users to enter their passwords once for a single purchase then continue to make purchases throughout a 15-minute window.

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ESRB Launches Privacy Certified Program

June 25, 2013 -

The Entertainment Software Rating Board announced a new privacy seal certification program called ESRB Privacy Certified. The new program offers expanded services to help companies manage their mobile app privacy practices. The program’s services include helping companies achieve compliance with the recently revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires by July 1st.

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Report: FTC Expected to Launch Investigation into Patent Troll Practices

June 21, 2013 -

This week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will announce plans to start an investigation into the questionable practices employed by patent trolls, according to a New York Times report. The investigation will be announced at a conference headed up by FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 46 LIVE

March 25, 2013 -

On this week's show we go live on Google + for a lengthy (video) discussion on the "RPG Camp" Kickstarter controversy, the results of the FTC's latest Secret Shopper Survey to test ratings enforcement at retail, Sega's decision to stop pulling Shining Force videos from YouTube and a whole lot more. Download Episode 46 now: SuperPAC Episode 46 (1 hour, 34 minutes) 240.0 MB.

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EMA Applauds Retailers' High Marks in FTC Ratings Enforcement Report

March 25, 2013 -

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) today applauded the efforts of retailers in the United States for continuing to show record levels of enforcement of video game and DVD ratings. The praise comes in response to the results of a Federal Trade Commission survey released today. That survey found that video game retailers turned away unaccompanied 13- to 16-year-olds who attempted to purchase Mature-rated games 87 percent of the time and turned away under-aged children who attempted to purchase R-rated or unrated DVDs 70 percent of the time.

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Video Game Retailers Receive High Marks from 2012 FTC Secret Shopper Survey

March 25, 2013 -

The Federal Trade Commission today released the results of its "Secret Shopper Survey" to test whether retailers were doing their part to keep adult entertainment out of the hands of children. The results of that survey are here, but the take-away is that retailers are continuing to self-police - without government intervention, I might add - just who buys video games, music and other entertainment.

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FTC Chairman Resigning in Mid-February

February 1, 2013 -

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairman Jon Leibowitz announced that he would be leaving the government watchdog agency in mid-February. Leibowitz served as chairman for four years, dealing with everything from Google's search to violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protections Act (COPPA) against social network Path, and the battle between Motorola and Microsoft over patents. As for where Leibowitz goes from here we do not know - but we hope he doesn't join a corporation he used to regulate or a lobbying group that will seek favors from the FTC.

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Google Terminates ITC Complaint Against Microsoft's Xbox 360

January 9, 2013 -

As expected, Google has backed off of its International Trade Commission complaint against Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, which uses one of its video compression patents. The company had sought to stop the sale of the system in the United States while Microsoft and its subsidiary Motorola duked it out in court over royalty payments related to FRAND patents. But earlier in the week the Federal Trade Commission stepped into the fight, ordering Google to take a more reasonable approach to "essential patents."

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Microsoft Expects Motorola to Abandon ITC Complaints Against Xbox 360

January 7, 2013 -

On Friday after the Federal Trade Commission issued an order on Google's Motorola patents and how the subsidiary needed to stop charging high royalties on FRAND patents it holds, Microsoft went into action.

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FTC Orders Google to Stop Charging High Royalties on FRAND-Related Patents

January 4, 2013 -

The Federal Trade Commission issued a Consent Order (PDF) this week forbidding Google from charging a lot of money for certain critical patents it gained when it bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in May 2012. This is good news for both Apple and Microsoft, but particularly for Microsoft because (according to Microsoft) Motorola Mobility wanted to charge $4 billion a year in royalties for patents Motorola holds on Wi-Fi and video technology.

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FTC Updates Child Online Safety Regulations to Deal with Social Networks, Apps

December 19, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it has updated its ten-year-old rules on children's online safety but came just short of adding changes that would sanction or hold responsible platform holders like Facebook and Apple, reports All Things D. The new rules hope to tighten privacy and sharing restriction rules for children who might use social networks or mobile apps.

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Senator Jay Rockefeller Introduces Bill to Study How Violent Video Games Affect Children

December 19, 2012 -

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D - West Virginia) has introduced a bill that would have the U.S. National Academy of Sciences study how video games and other media like films and television affect children. The bill would also expand studies already conducted by the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

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PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/halo-mcc-esports-event-canceled-because-the-game-would-1700543158 Halo: MCC eSports Event Canceled Because The Game Wouldn't Work04/27/2015 - 10:15pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I know I was just stating where I stand on issues like that in general04/27/2015 - 8:12pm
Andrew EisenWho, Colin Cowherd? No one's suggesting he should be forced out. Or that he should commentate on video games.04/27/2015 - 8:10pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I do not think he should be forced ou though. he has his right to his opinion and shouldnt be forced out because people disagree with it.04/27/2015 - 8:07pm
ZippyDSMleeJim suggjested a pay what you want setup like humble bundel.04/27/2015 - 7:49pm
MontePerhaps they should just add a donation system for creators like the monthly pateron model. Only those who regularly make quality content can get compensated while those who would abuse the system are ignored04/27/2015 - 7:46pm
MontePaid mods is not a bad idea; i mean its only fair that makers be compensated and even better if they can do it full time. UNfortunatly there is too much that can go wrong and room for abuse04/27/2015 - 7:44pm
Andrew EisenYeah, working on that story now. Or rather, I'm working on finding time to write up that story.04/27/2015 - 7:40pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dll8eMJnTEE this crap is why sports fans and gamers dont get along. for love of god did I get sent back to 1995.04/27/2015 - 7:37pm
Matthew WilsonI do not think it will be the last time we see this. btw I am ok with paid mods.04/27/2015 - 7:10pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.pcgamer.com/valve-has-removed-paid-mods-functionality-from-steam-workshop/ 0_o04/27/2015 - 6:37pm
ZippyDSMleeMatthew Wilson:Humor and sarcasm sir.04/27/2015 - 6:36pm
Matthew Wilson@zippy there is no way they are going to merge with capcom becouse both companies are not in good shape. sony, Nintendo, and square are the only companies with enough money to pull it off in japan.04/27/2015 - 4:27pm
ZippyDSMleeCutesy name for motherboard. My 300$ mobo fried itself one night...04/27/2015 - 4:23pm
Andrew EisenNo problem. No idea what a mobo is but it's easy to overlook stuff in the Shout box.04/27/2015 - 4:18pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Ah sorry, last 2-4 days I been dealing with a dead mobo then my new laptop came in trying to get it up to date and stuff transferred over....blag04/27/2015 - 4:16pm
Andrew EisenAlready linked about 10 shouts ago.04/27/2015 - 4:00pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.polygon.com/2015/4/27/8503893/konami-delists-itself-from-new-york-stock-exchange This just in Konami and Capcom merge so they can ignore more IP's.04/27/2015 - 3:50pm
E. Zachary KnightNot really. I think people are overly critical of other game projects. Delays should be expected and shouldn't be considered a major failing and worthy of the crap they get.04/27/2015 - 3:09pm
Matthew WilsonI agree that Double Fine gets off way too easy compared to others.04/27/2015 - 2:40pm
 

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