Quick and dirty background to this story is that some ignorant young kids made bunches of in-app purchases on their iPads, sticking their parents with the bills. Apple made good, but then the FTC stuck its stupid nose in and demanded that Apple pay them, the FTC, tens of millions of dollars — and surrender to regulatory control over the App Store. Read:
“With complex technology products such as computing platforms, firms generally find and address numerous problems as experience is gained with the product,” Mr. Wright wrote in his dissent. “Virtually all software evolved this way.” He noted that the FTC’s directive, which spells out how Apple’s buying process must work for the next 20 years, “is very likely to do more harm to consumers than it is to protect them.” For example, Apple already uses fingerprints to unlock its mobile phones and could do the same to authorize payments—except that would violate the terms of the FTC order, which didn’t anticipate this innovation.
In an interview, Mr. Wright called this opinion the “most problematic agency action I have seen in terms of the potential to cause harm to consumers. He added that “it demonstrates a distinct lack of regulatory humility. . . . This is a product-design case brought in the guise of alleged unfairness to consumers.”
A hybrid clone of Ronald Reagan and Dagny Taggart could dig the country out of this regulatory grave we’ve put ourselves in.
Let. It. Burn.
But let me keep my old iPad while it does.