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Amazon Sued by FTC Because Kids Keep Making In-App Purchases

FTC7-12The U.S. government's consumer protection agency has filed a lawsuit against Amazon for allegedly billing customers for unauthorized in-app purchases, many of which are made by children.

The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that it sought to refund millions of dollars in purchases made by children on their parents' accounts and put a permanent ban on Amazon's ability to bill for unauthorized in-app purchases.

The complaint said that Amazon keeps 30% of all in-app purchase revenue.

"In its complaint, the FTC alleges that Amazon violated the FTC Act by billing parents and other Amazon account holders for charges incurred by their children without the permission of the parent or other account holder," the FTC said in its press release. "Amazon’s setup allowed children playing these kids’ games to spend unlimited amounts of money to pay for virtual items within the apps such as 'coins,' 'stars,' and 'acorns' without parental involvement."

Unauthorized in-app purchases, often made by youngsters who are unaware of their digital spending, have been a point of contention for a variety of companies, including Apple.

An agreement struck between Apple and the FTC in January forced the iPhone maker to refund more than $30 million in unauthorized purchases.

Google was sued in March on similar allegations, and Apple reportedly called for the U.S. government to investigate Google on similar charges.

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(Article and body image via Mashable)

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