Late last month, the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington granted the Federal Trade Commission’s motion for summary judgment against Amazon for violating Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce,” by billing consumers for unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children. The FTC alleged that Amazon had received “thousands of complaints” from parents about unexpected charges ‒ totaling in the millions of dollars ‒ made by children on devices such as Kindle Fires or Android phones. Apple and Google settled with the FTC over the same issue in 2014, agreeing to fully refund customers for such charges – together totaling over $50 million. How much Amazon will have to fork over remains to be determined.
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Amazon Liable For In-App Purchases by Kids
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