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FTC sues Amazon for millions of dollars worth in-app purchases by children

FTC filed a case against Amazon for unauthorized in-app purchases by kids after their parents complained and the Federal Trade Commission states that these transactions amounted to millions of dollars.in-app-purchase

According to Federal Trade commission’s lawsuit, the organization has demanded that Amazon will have to refund money to the parents and also sought a ban on in-app purchases without consent from the parents. FTC had filed a letter to Amazon which stated that the company should enter into an agreement similar to Apple’s handling of in-app purchases. Amazon declined and has appealed against the compliant of FTC.


Andrew DeVore, VP and assistant general at Amazon said in a statement:

“The commission unwillingness to depart from the precedent it set with Apple despite our very different facts leaves us no choice but to defend ourselves in court.”

Amazon mentioned that it was “deeply disappointed” with the agency’s move to file a lawsuit. Earlier, Amazon employees have pointed out the company’s terms regarding in-app purchases of children. Amazon receives 30 percent of in-app purchases and the official policy of the company does not offer refunds.

In the complaint made, FTC informed that there are thousands of complaint pending in the concerned matter of ‘unauthorized in-app charges on Amazon devices’. Nevertheless, the agency informed that the changes are only applicable from its ‘in-app’ charging policies last month.

The FTC also claimed that a single authorization from a parent allows unlimited in-game purchases for a period of 15 minutes. Amazon offers a host of games for kids in the Kindle fire including the famous Ice Age game which uses virtual coins for purchasing items. FTC also mentioned that Amazon is likely to refund the money by changing its policies after negotiations. Amazon made millions of dollars as one in-app purchase would cost about $99.99. Apple had made an Appeal to FTC regarding Google’s policies of in-app purchases.

In January 2014, Apple agreed to refund at least worth of $32.5 million to those parents, whose children racked up charges buying in-app purchases such as pet foods, gems or extra life etc on their iPhones and iPads.

[ Source ]

About Bhanu Jamwal

Living in Aldine, TX, he writes about Mac, iOS, Android and IT Hardware. Apart from writing on The Next Digit, he is also an expert in providing valuable seminars on IT Peripherals and IT Security. All posts by Bhanu

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