Founder Andy Rubin could be putting his crazy action hero stuff on ice.
After months of being targeted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in an ongoing investigation into whether Rubin violated the “Honest Ads” law, Essential is closing down.
While the Consumerist reports that the FTC did not confirm any detail, Forbes adds that “consumers who purchased or received accessories for the product must retrieve their accessories.”
Essential has reportedly put out an official statement, stating:
“The Essential Phone sold out globally and we’re grateful for the enthusiasm and support we’ve received from our customers. We have been exploring a number of additional ways to further expand our reach, and have come to the difficult decision to stop taking pre-orders and cease production of the Essential Phone. We are focused on implementing our plans for the future in parallel with our full review of our business and strategic alternatives.”
Andy Rubin created Android, the popular mobile operating system that still comprises the overwhelming majority of global smartphone sales. The app-driven OS has hundreds of thousands of applications and works on any smartphone, including Apple’s iPhone and BlackBerry.
But it seems his final big project might’ve been too much. The entrepreneur, who is the brother of Steven Spielberg, is also an executive producer of the Transformers movies.
But regardless of his scientific achievements, Andy Rubin has got a lot more to answer for. The FTC is said to be investigating Essential, its marketing practices, its attorney and a law firm Rubin is associated with, according to TMZ.
While the investigation has gone nowhere, the primary questions being investigated are whether Rubin broke any federal laws with Essential’s ad-supported, in-app download service.
There were inconsistencies between Essential’s advertising platform and the terms of the Android Acceptable Use Policy, according to the FTC.
“Essential’s business model was unusual. Its advertising system was constructed like a game — where the company required users to follow through with the download of paid app downloads,” FTC said.
“Essential’s deceptive scheme preys on consumers who might be curious about learning more about their new device.”
This story was originally published by The Huffington Post.