Google Paying Up for Children’s In-App Purchases

Federal Trade Commission Schooley MitchellGoogle is facing a massive payout to reimburse consumers who were unfairly billed for in-app purchases made by children. The tech giant has agreed to a $19 million settlement in response to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint calling the billing practice unfair.

It’s been a hot issue for some time. Families can be charged hundreds of dollars for purchases made by their children, who do not understand what they are doing when playing a game or using an app. Many have pointed the fingers at distributors that don’t put proper payment authorization steps in place as being at fault.

Along with reimbursing customers $19 million, Google will also change its billing system to prevent such errors from reoccurring.

“We’ve already made product changes to ensure people have the best Google Play experience possible,” a Google spokeswoman was quoted as saying. “We’re glad to put this matter behind us so we can focus on creating more ways for people to enjoy all the entertainment they love.”

On top of Google, Apple agreed to pay $32.5 million in a settlement back in January. And the FTC filed a lawsuit against Amazon for the same reasons in July, which is still pending.

Google introduced in-app purchases back in 2011.

*Source: Computer World