A federal court ruling has found Amazon liable for billing parents for their kids’ unauthorized in-app purchases.
What it means for Amazon customers
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Amazon in 2014 due to the way the company handles in-app purchases for Kindle and Android devices, and just last week, a federal judge ruled that Amazon has to pay up.
The FTC also sued Apple and Google the same year over similar issues related to their app stores, but both companies decided to settle at $32.5 million and $19 million, respectively.
The issue at hand? All three technology companies had made it pretty easy to download in-app purchases from games children could get their hands on — costing parents big bucks. And even though Apple and Google decided to settle, Amazon fought the charges ’til the bitter end.
FTC analyst Julie Miller suggested that Amazon had made $86 million from the in-app purchases, 42% of which were unauthorized, but Amazon maintained those estimates were flawed. Regardless, the FTC said it would ‘urge the court to demand full refunds for affected Amazon customers,’ according to BBC news.
The amount Amazon will have to pay is still to be determined, but it’s in the hands of the court to decide.