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Monday 14th November 2016
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Late last week, a federal judge ordered Amazon.com to set up a process to refund any parents whose children made in-app purchases without their consent, Reuters reported. According to the FTC in July 2014, Amazon made it much too easy for children to make purchases while playing games like Pet Shop Story and Ice Age Village, which led to approximately $86 million in unauthorized charges.
U.S. District Judge John Coughenour rejected a request for a $26.5 million lump-sum payout, and he also said no to Amazon’s request to issue refunds in the form of gift cards, saying the company would “undoubtedly recapture some of the profits that are at issue.” Coughenour has instead ordered Amazon to set up a notice-and-claims process beginning in early 2017, which would notify parents of their eligibility for refunds so that they can apply for reimbursement.
Amazon is just the latest company and platform holder being held accountable for unauthorized purchases made my children. In 2014 the FTC settled similar cases against Apple and Google; Apple agreed to refund at least $32.5 million and Google at least $19 million.