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Apple to pay back parents in free-to-play games settlement

A lawsuit filed against Apple by disgruntled parents who found that their children had accidentally bought in-app purchases in kids' games may finally come to an end soon, with a large settlement from Apple.

Mike Rose, Blogger

February 27, 2013

1 Min Read

A lawsuit filed two years ago against Apple by disgruntled parents who found that their children had accidentally bought in-app purchases in kids' games may finally come to an end later this week -- thanks to a large settlement on Apple's part. Angry parents claimed that their children were able to buy in-game items without a password for the first 15 minutes after downloading the app, giving young children the chance to buy hundreds of dollars worth of content without their parent's approval. A U.S. Judge later stated that Apple may have violated consumer protection laws by inappropriately labeling these apps as free. In a settlement document filed this week, and as reported by the Guardian, Apple has now offered to pay out to all those parents who can show that their child made in-app purchases using iTunes Store or App Store credits, with a settlement figure that could cost the company up to $100 million. Those cases in which more than $30 in cash was used will also be considered, the filing states. The settlement, which will only apply to the U.S. if it is approved, will be proposed to a U.S. court of March 1. One of the most infamous games involved in the in-app purchase saga was Capcom's Smurfs Village, which urged children to buy virtual currency to expand their in-game town. The game's download page now includes a prominent disclaimer to inform parents of its business model.

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