The Inquirer-Home

Apple might settle for $115m over in-app charges

Lucky iTunes users might get a $5 apology
Tue Feb 26 2013, 16:24

GADGET DESIGNER Apple might be about to accept a legal settlement that would see it pay off a lot of apps users that have been bitten by in-app purchases.

The issue here is that apps, often apps that are initially free, essentially have been serving as gateways to a mall of virtual frippery and gewgaws.

Games where add-ons are common and virtual currencies are in place can be money pits for users, and especially parents that have surrendered control of their iPhone to their youngest and dearest.

The people that offer these games and make the money are happy, while the unwitting funders of the exercise are left out of pocket to the tune of over £500 in some cases.

Some balance might be about to be struck, however. A proposed settlement between Apple and an assortment of parents could be approved on 1 March.

If it does Apple will have to reach out to 23 million iTunes account holders and offer them $5. Not that this is likely to bother Apple that much, as $115m is small change for the firm.

Other refunds might also be forthcoming depending on the cases at hand. Apple is represented here by the law firm Morrison & Foerster. We have contacted it to see if it will provide more information on the settlement terms.

A copy of the settlement uploaded to the Scribd website says that parents must prove that the purchases were made by kids and that they were not aware of a 15 minutes of no password, no spending restrictions period.

Apple has since removed that 15 minute window of opportunity, and offers parents advice on controlling accounts. µ


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