Deals with unauthorized purchases made by children in games
As part of a settlement Apple agreed to with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over problems and excessive charges made by children through in-app purchases (IAPs), the company has sent out letters to some iTunes account holders, offering refunds "in certain cases" where a child has been able to make unauthorized IAPs without the parents' awareness. There have been numerous incidents made public of children who racked up extraordinary charges through IAPs.
Search and ad giant placed tracking cookies on users' machines without asking
In a final settlement with a Federal Court, Google will pay a fine of just $17 million - on top of a separate FTC fine of $22.5 million from last year - to 37 US states and the District of Columbia over its illegal use of surreptitious tracking cookies in Apple's Safari web browser, deliberately bypassing Apple's built-in anti-tracking technology. Google failed to inform users that it was monitoring where they surfed after visiting any sites that used Google's DoubleClick ad network in 2011 and 2012.
Carrier's change to data plans entangles Apple through 3G iPad
Although it had no say in how AT&T managed its "unlimited" 3G data plans, Apple and the US carrier are both responsible for harm inflicted on consumers who bought 3G iPads on AT&T's network expected to be able to use an unlimited data plan. The proposed settlement, which must still be approved by a judge, comes as a result of customers who spent an extra $130 on the 3G-capable iPad in the expectation that they could use AT&T's unlimited data plan with it. AT&T later revoked the option after promising it would retain it for iPad 3G customers.
Report says companies may have been close to a deal last February
A new report says that Apple and Samsung have continued to hold talks in the hopes of reaching legal settlements on their numerous complaints with each other, including high-level private meetings in Seoul late last year. Talks are ongoing, but there is no sign of an imminent settlement, unnamed sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. According to some redacted documents filed as part of one of the US ITC cases, the sticking point appears to be Samsung's push for a "universal" cross-licensing deal.
Ongoing fees between $2 and $5 per handset expected in future
The first part of Research In Motion's settlement with Nokia has been paid, a week after the two companies agreed to end all of their outstanding patent battles. The one-off payment of 50 million euro ($65 million) by RIM will be followed by currently-unknown ongoing payments, as part of a patent licensing agreement between the mobile phone manufacturers.
Judge questions award, demands more information
US District Judge Richard Seeborg said he has "significant concerns" about a proposed legal settlement with Facebook accusing the social media site of violating the rights of its members through the "sponsored stories" feature. Facebook is slated to pay $20 million to lawyers and charities as part of the settlement. In an effort to convince the judge that the package is a good value for the plaintiffs, Facebook attorneys claim that the settlement payout plus changes to privacy settings represent $123 million in value to the suing class and Facebook users.