Amazon prepares for a legal tussle with the FTC over in-app purchases

Kindle store
Watch what you buy

Amazon isn't backing down in a fight against the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The world e-tailer submitted a letter to the FTC warning the commission it would take it's case to court regarding a legal spat that stems from a lack of parental controls over in-app purchases (IAPs) preventing kids from ringing up tens to hundreds of dollars in faulty charges.

To reimburse outraged parents the commission has demanded Amazon pay significant fines. However, the company insists it has already implemented plenty of safeguards to prevent tikes from accidentally unlocking every level in Plants vs. Zombies 2 and other virtual purchases.

The web warehouse claims it clearly highlights apps and games that contain IAPs in its Kindle store. What's more, Amazon says it also sends out real-time notifications and allows users to set parental controls to prevent small hands from inadvertently making purchases.

Sticking to its guns

Earlier this year Apple decided to settle in a very similar case with the FTC over circumstantial in-app purchases.

Rather than taking the case to court as Amazon plans to, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company forked over $32.5 million (about £18.9 million, AU$34.4 million) to 37,000 customers demanding money back for faulty charges. The iPhone maker also implemented an additional step in the iOS app store to prevent children from buying digital items without explicit parental consent.

In Amazon's letter, the company's lawyer Andrew DeVore wrote, "The commission's unwillingness to depart from the precedent it set with Apple despite our very different facts leaves us no choice but to defend our approach in court."

The FTC is adamant that Amazon still needs to pay significant fines to repay the "thousands" of consumers saddled with charges they never agreed to.

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Via The Verge

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.