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FTC to Investigate Apple In-App Purchases

FTC to Investigate Apple In-App Purchases

Posted February 22, 2011 at 11:44pm by iClarified · 6460 views
The FTC has said it will investigate Apple In-App Purchases after U.S. legislator Rep. Ed Markey sent a letter expressing his concern over unintentional purchases made by children, according to the Washington Post.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz wrote in a letter to Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) that the practice of "in-app purchases" for certain applications on Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods raised concerns that consumers may not fully understand the ramifications of those charges. The Washington Post wrote about hefty charges amassed by children using Apple device games that public interest groups said should not be included in software geared for children. Some parents said their children didn't understand the difference between real and pretend purchases for items such as $99 barrels of Smurfberries on the Capcom Interactive game Smurfs Village.

"We fully share your concern that consumers, particularly children, are unlikely to understand the ramifications of these types of purchases," Leibowitz wrote. "Let me assure you we will look closely at the current industry practice with respect to the marketing and delivery of these types of applications."

U.S. antitrust enforcers have also begun looking at Apple's policy which forces content providers to use in-app purchases to sell their subscriptions.

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FTC to Investigate Apple In-App Purchases
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