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  • Apple and Other Companies Being Investigated over ‘Freemium’ App Sales


    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 Antitrust and Competition Authority’s investigation comes after the European Union told companies to go light on the freemium app model. They said that consumers may be confused about thinking the app can be downloaded for free, then purchasing content after the fact that it would get charged to their credit cards.

    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
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple and Other Companies Being Investigated over ‘Freemium’ App Sales started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. bigbaba's Avatar
      bigbaba -
      The games are fully playable as is. I have never spent a single dime on in-app purchases since Installer was renamed as the App Store in iPhone OS 2.
    1. peacedog's Avatar
      peacedog -
      Apple should never have allowed In-app Purchases that are $50 and $100, especially games that are geared towards little kids like Smurf Village. And that these $100 IAP can be repeatedly purchased is very infuriating. I think that certain games should have a maximum purchase value, and when you reach that amount, everything should continue to be free.

      The only IAP I've purchased is to remove advertisements and they are usually $0.99 or $1.99.
    1. XweAponX's Avatar
      XweAponX -
      Quote Originally Posted by peacedog View Post
      Apple should never have allowed In-app Purchases that are $50 and $100, especially games that are geared towards little kids like Smurf Village. And that these $100 IAP can be repeatedly purchased is very infuriating. I think that certain games should have a maximum purchase value, and when you reach that amount, everything should continue to be free.

      The only IAP I've purchased is to remove advertisements and they are usually $0.99 or $1.99.
      Same here- cack like "Smule magic piano" and other ilk can sucker kids into wasting all kinds of money. Also, certain "games" that get you involved, and then you run out of "gold" and can't play, can rack up the bucks even with purchases of LESS than 50 bucks a pop. A friend of mine wasted over 1400 real dollars on VAPOUR so he could keep playing his shiddy game.
    1. Co1d Night's Avatar
      Co1d Night -
      Sadly people aren´t smart enough to realise that.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      IAP's should be illegal, I think it's a dishonest practice
    1. jigar7's Avatar
      jigar7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
      IAP's should be illegal, I think it's a dishonest practice
      +1 to that!
      That is the reason why I love donating to JB devs... I know that they are strictly against pirating apps... but that is what the app devs deserve!
      During the 1st gen of iDevices, it was perfect, I wouldnt mind spending 5-15$ on a game that I know will fully unlock, but now it is just horrible! I don't want the free to play model... I'd prefer spending 5-20$ in one go