April 26, 2017
Nearly three years after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) first charged that Amazon had unlawfully billed parents for millions of dollars in children’s unauthorized in-app charges – and about one year after a federal district court in Washington agreed with the FTC, but denied its request for an injunction – the case is over. As a result, Amazon soon will refund up to $70 million in in-app charges to injured consumers.
In 2014, the FTC sued Amazon, Apple and Google, claiming that the billing of parents for in-app purchases incurred by their children without the parents’ express informed consent violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. Apple settled with the FTC and agreed to refund $32.5 million to consumers; Google also settled and agreed to refund up to $19 million to consumers. Amazon refused to settle, and the FTC moved for summary judgment against it.