Amazon has elected to withdraw litigation in an ongoing dispute with the Federal Trade Commission regarding unlawful in-app purchases. The decision will expedite the looming refund process, the FTC said in a press release on Tuesday.
Amazon, which began allowing in-app purchases in late 2011, caught the attention of the FTC which claimed it hadn’t done enough to prevent kids from making unauthorized in-app purchases.
Andrew DeVore, an Amazon associate general counsel, said in 2014 that in-app purchase refunds were never a problem. When customers told them their kids had made purchases they didn’t want, he said they simply refunded the purchases.
Nevertheless, a federal district judge in April 2016 ruled in favor of the FTC, agreeing that Amazon illegally billed consumers for unauthorized in-app purchases made by children without their parents’ knowledge or permission.
With the legal shenanigans now in the rear-view, the refund process can move forward. The FTC notes that more than $70 million in in-app charges made between November 2011 and May 2016 may be eligible for refunds. Full details on the refund process, which Amazon will be in charge of, will be provided shortly, the FTC said.
A judge this past November rejected Amazon’s request to issue refunds in the form of gift cards, insisting that the company would no doubt recapture some of the profits that are at issue.
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