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  • Apple Settles with Italian Government for Misleading Consumers with In-App Purchases


    Apple, Amazon and Google will all be avoiding fines from the Italian government after all of them agreed to revise policies regarding “freemium” mobile games and applications. The Antitrust and Competition Authority in Italy will not levy any further charges against the companies or the developer, Gameloft, in return for the parties not using the word “free” to describe titles with in-app purchases.

    For those of you who didn’t know, the Italian government began the investigation in conjunction with the European Union last May. Italy and the EU said that consumers may be confused by the idea of downloading an app for free, then buying content after the download that will be charged to their credit cards. The Italian Antitrust and Competition Authority said the following regarding the matter in a recent statement:

    Consumers can now count on stronger guarantees than what would have been achieved by sanctioning the companies involved.
    Apple seems to have begun complying with the rules on the App Store last November when it changed the download link buttons for apps from “Free” to “Get.” This “Get” button now applies to all applications that are in the App Store (whether they include in-app purchases or not). Most of the top grossing apps for iPhone are free-to-play games where users can download for free but encourage or require in app purchases to advance.

    As many of you already know, the so-called “freemium” titles have been a large source of controversy as they cannot be downloaded by children who can rack up charges on their parents account. They prompted Apple to add a notice in 2013 highlighting when a free application includes in app-purchases. Apple was even sued back in 2011 and was accused of collecting “millions of dollars” from unauthorized in-app purchases made by children. The Cupertino California company ended up settling the case for a $1.2 million fine in 2011 for unfair commercial practices associated with standard product warranties. The regulator even added another $264,000 for the same warranty issue a year later despite changing the AppleCare policies.

    More and more companies seem to be getting all the legal issues down to a minimum regarding the matter now that several years of experience and several court cases resulting in fines and settlements have passed.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Settles with Italian Government for Misleading Consumers with In-App Purchases started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Why would anyone think that in app purchases would be free? That's like saying I can access the amazon website for free, so everything on the site must be too.
    1. jigar7's Avatar
      jigar7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpidermanAPV View Post
      Why would anyone think that in app purchases would be free? That's like saying I can access the amazon website for free, so everything on the site must be too.
      Good luck explaining that to a 2 yr old... :P

      Freemium apps should be banned... the worst thing to happen in the gaming industry. But then the pirates are responsible for this I guess. It was so good to buy great games at a full price back in the 2/3GS days... *sigh*