Apple is facing a $100m bill to compensate millions of parents whose offspring inadvertently used iPhones and iPads to rack up large bills of their own.
The technology giant agreed to the payout after five sets of parents said that their children had bought too many “virtual goods” whilst they were playing with apps on the Apple devices. These goods cost real money and can range from virtual gifts for friends playing computer games, or extra “lives” which allow users to keep playing those games for longer.
In a lawsuit filed against Apple in 2011, the parents said the California company did not do enough to warn people that they were spending money. The company has since changed its system so that users have to enter a password every time they buy goods through its online App store.
Apple has now offered to settle the case, by refunding parents more than $100m in credits which they can spend in its iTunes store. Around 23m Apple customers believed to be affected will be able to claim a $5 iTunes credit, according to court filings. Those parents claiming $30 or more will be given cash refunds.
The settlement must be approved by a California judge next month.