Tuesday 21 May 2019

Amazon will be billed for kids' in-app purchases


Mark O'Beirne

A judge has ruled in favour of the FTC over the issue of in-app purchases, which could see Amazon shelling out for purchases made by kids.

If you open up an App store, you'll be greeted by thousands of free apps, many of which contain in-app purchases. A judge has ruled that Amazon illegally billed parents in the US for in-app purchases made without their knowledge or permission by their children.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made the complaint that Amazon failed to sufficiently inform parents that games marked as free could feature such in-app purchases.

Amazon and the FTC must now work out damages. The FTC hopes to make Amazon fully refund purchases made by children from the launch of in-app purchases in 2011 up to June 2014 when Amazon added notifications and disclosure.

It was only after this point that Amazon better informed parents that a free app could contain in-app purchases and added authorisation measures.

The FTC filed the case against Amazon in 2014. In the same year, the FTC settled cases with both Apple and Google, recovering around $50 million in the process.

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