Amazon drops appeal, to pay $70 mn for kids app buys

April 4, 2017
A US regulator successfully argued that Amazon failed to get parental permission before letting children buy apps on tablets

Amazon has dropped its appeal of a US regulator's order and will pay refunds up to $70 million for app purchases by children on its tablet computers, officials said Tuesday.

The Federal Trade Commission announced it filed a joint request with Amazon to withdraw a court challenge to an order from last year, which was similar to actions taken against Apple and Google for failing to get parental authorization for purchases made by minors in their respective app stores.

The end of the litigation clears the way for refunds of some $70 million for in-app charges made between November 2011 and May 2016.

"This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies—you must get customers' consent before you charge them," said Thomas Pahl, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

"Consumers affected by Amazon's practices can now be compensated for charges they didn't expect or authorize."

The FTC has reached settlements with Apple and Google on similar cases, arguing the lack of passwords had allowed children to make app purchases without . Amazon however had challenged the FTC order last year.

FTC officials argued that Amazon failed to get consent from parents whose children made in-app purchases on the Kindle and Fire tablets, sometimes racking up huge bills.

Amazon had no immediate comment on the case. The FTC said Amazon would shortly announce details of its refunds efforts.

Explore further: US court rules Amazon liable for kids' app charges

Related Stories

FTC sues Amazon over kids' app charges

July 10, 2014

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon over charges that the company has not done enough to prevent children from making unauthorized in-app purchases, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court.

Amazon vows to fight FTC on kids in-app purchases (Update)

July 2, 2014

Amazon said Wednesday that it is prepared to go to court against the Federal Trade Commission to defend itself against charges that it has not done enough to prevent children from making unauthorized in-app purchases.

Google settles with FTC over in-app charges

September 4, 2014

Google has agreed to pay full refunds totaling at least $19 million to consumers who were charged for purchases that children made via apps without parental consent from the Google Play app store.

Recommended for you

Semimetals are high conductors

March 18, 2019

Researchers in China and at UC Davis have measured high conductivity in very thin layers of niobium arsenide, a type of material called a Weyl semimetal. The material has about three times the conductivity of copper at room ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.