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article imageAmazon sued by U.S. regulators over kids apps

By Tim Sandle     Jul 11, 2014 in Technology
Washington - The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued Amazon. The FTC says that Amazon allowed millions of dollars of unauthorized purchases by children to take place in its mobile app store.
The FTC is seeking refunds for parents who were charged when their children purchased apps via Amazon, according to Time Magazine. Earlier this year, the FTC reached a settlement with Apple over a similar issue.
With the move against Amazon, FTC chair Edith Ramirez in a statement: "Amazon's in-app system allowed children to incur unlimited charges on their parents' accounts without permission."
In its complaint, the FTC used the example of an app called "Ice Age Village," a game designed for children. The FTC alleges that the game "blurred the lines between what costs virtual currency and what costs real money", with "acorns" and "coins" both serving a purpose within the game as well as being available for purchase. The largest quantity purchase available in the app would cost $99.99.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the FTC want password protection for every in-app purchase and a streamlined refund process.
Amazon, however, do not accept the FTC's claim. Furthermore, Amazon has written a letter to the regulator earlier this month that it would not accept tighter controls for the future. Based on Amazon's response, the case is headed to the high court.
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