Apple, Amazon, Gameloft, and Google are being investigated by Italy’s Antitrust and Competition Authority for possibly misleading the public into spending money on so called “freemium” apps which offer in-app purchases. The World Street Journal has reported that the Italian regulator is trying to determine if the companies’ freemium apps and respective app stores offer enough information about in-app purchases. They are also investigating whether or not the companies’ sale practices are tricking users into paying for in-game content.
The Italian regulator has stated:
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. 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.
The Italian Antitrust Authority has targeted Apple for many investigations including a 2011 $1.2 million fine in unfair commercial practices related to standard product warranties. Then again for a $264,000 fine for the same warranty in 2012 even after the company changed AppleCare policies.
Source: The Wall Street Journal