In all of the excitement of today’s announcements it was discovered that FaceTime was out of beta and officially in the Mac App Store for just $0.99. The interwebs lit up in an uproar over Apple gouging its customers for something that should be free. Apple probably agrees with you all and would love to just give it to you, but unfortunately they can’t by law.
In 2002, a little something called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was put forth to keep publicly traded companies in check. The Act prohibits Apple from giving away an unadvertised new feature of an already sold product without enduring some onerous accounting measures. This isn’t the first time Apple’s had to do this either. Anyone remember when you found out that your MacBook Pro actually had an 802.11N card in it? They had to charge you for the patch to enable it. This is also the same Act that made iPod touch owners have to pay for the iOS 3 upgrade (They changed the rules by the time 4 was released). So there you go. Apple is not gouging you out of $.99 because they are greedy. Their hands are legally tied.
Want to ask us hard questions about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which we will probably avoid while waiting for some kind CPA to step in and rescue us? Leave a comment below!