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The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Amazon because they charge customers for unauthorized app purchases made by their children. Amazon is the third company the FTC has contacted in regards to such actions. Apple was sued this past January, who recently informed the FTC that Google is also guilty of the same practices.
According to PC World, the FTC filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Western District of Washington court, mandating Amazon to refund money to all parents who have had unauthorized purchases made to their accounts. Amazon will also no longer be able to bill for unauthorized charges, should the FTC win the suit.
Amazon first began giving users the luxury of in-app purchases in 2011. However, the FTC claims that Amazon did not provide a reliable way to protect their customer accounts, such as creating a special password to protect themselves from their children adding unknown app purchases to their bill. Amazon argued in a recent letter sent to the FTC that the company has strong parental controls in place and that users are warned prior to completing the purchase. Amazon also stated that they have always refunded customers in the event that an accidental purchase was made, USA Today noted.
Apple settled at $32.5 million and made adjustments to their Apple store so that the account is protected with a password. The FTC claims that if Amazon makes changes to their app store as well, then they will drop the lawsuit.