Italy Investigates Apple Over Freemium Apps

Italy Investigates Apple Over Freemium Apps

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Italy's Antitrust and Competition Authority has launched an investigation into whether Apple, Google, Amazon, and Gameloft mislead users into making purchases in apps that are initially free to download, reports the WSJ.

The move by Italy's Antitrust and Competition Authority comes after the European Union earlier this year called on companies to reform their use of the "freemium" model in which apps are free to download, but then later require payments that often get charged to credit cards by default. The EU says consumer confusion with the freemium model threatens the long-term health of the continent's booming "app economy" that employs more than one million people and is forecast to produce €63 billion in total revenue in 2018, more than triple last year's level.

"Consumers could be led to think, contrary to reality, that a game is completely free and therefore they don't know ahead of time the game's true cost," the regulator said. "It appears also that there is a lack of information regarding how to exclude or limit the possibility of making a purchase inside the app."

Notably, Apple recently reached an agreement with the FTC over in-app purchases for App Store applications. The company agreed to refund more than 37,000 in-app purchases that parents have claimed their children have made -- paying out a minimum of $32.5 million. The company had been negotiating with the FTC for months over purchases that children had made allegedly without their parents' consent.

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Italy Investigates Apple Over Freemium Apps
Techo1 - May 17, 2014 at 10:49pm
It's the damn apps makers trying to cash in on the apps rather than the store it's sold it... It's the same apps on either iOS or android devices.
True .. - May 19, 2014 at 5:22am
True but Apple (and presume Android) have made money from selling the app(s). And with Apple's strict screening of what is allowed to be sold via iTunes they knew full well what was happening...so if they find it unjust they can send the bill to the app makers.
Techo1 - May 19, 2014 at 6:36am
I have both and it's the same. The bs continues but I don't disagree with you.
Fukran john - May 17, 2014 at 8:49pm
lol. I don't doubt that appple must have done it. And surely, more to come. HAHAHAH
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