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Apple would have to pay at least $32.5M to consumers to settle a federal complaint about the company’s practices that allowed children to make purchases in mobile apps without the consent of parents.
This is the second setback for the company after it was fined $670,000 In Taiwan For Price Fixing
The Federal Trade Commission said Apple will provide a full refund for in-app purchases made without permission from account holders. The agency said it had received tens of thousands of complaints about such purchases.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company had been working to refund customers affected by these type of purchases since last year.
As part of the agreement, Apple must change its purchasing process to ensure consumers give full consent when purchasing items in mobile apps. In-app items can range from 99 cents to $99.99 per item.
The FTC said Apple failed to inform consumers that they could be approving in-app purchases by entering a password on their device. After entering the password, users then had a 15-minute window where unlimited purchases could be made without further action taken by users.
Apple is required to alert all users who may have experienced accidental or not authorized in-app purchases before 31 March 2014 that refunds are available. If the company issues less than $32.5M to consumers it is required to pay the remaining balance to the FTC.