Google Pays FTC $19 million over in-app purchases
Google has finally settled with the Federal Trade Commission over the in-app purchase case for $19 million. Google has agreed to give consumers who claim to be victims of unintended in app purchases full refunds. The tech giant has also decided to make in-app purchases processes more obvious to avoid this from happening again.
Apple settled with the FTC over the same complaint back in January for $32.5 million as well as changed the Apple’s App Store purchasing policy.
The original complaint filed with the FTC alleged that since March 2011, Google has been allowing in-app purchases and billing charges without any requirement of authorization including a simple password verification. Parents began lodging complaints about the unauthorized purchases but the tech tycoon made no move to “require account holder involvement within an app prior to in-app charges being incurred by children until mid- to late 2012.” The complaint also highlighted the company’s inadequacy in dealing with the matter. A Google project manager went so far as to call the unwarranted purchases “friendly or family fraud.” These in-app purchases were reported to make up nearly 80% of chargebacks but the company still chose to blame developers instead of dealing with the issue directly.
The tech company has been given a year by FTC to pay back affected consumers. The FTC has warned Google to pay up before it forces the money from the company and distributes the sum to consumers themselves.
Source: The Verge