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Amazon may have to refund $70 million for in-app purchases made by kids
A long legal battle between Amazon and the US government over in-app purchases that were made by kids may finally be coming to an end. The Federal Trade Commission revealed on Tuesday that both the agency and Amazon have now agreed to end their appeals in this case, which means Amazon could be close to sending out refunds to parents. The total amount could be over $70 million.
The case itself began back in 2014, when the FTC first accused Amazon of making it too easy for children to make in-app purchases without their parents’ permission. In 2016, a judge agreed with the FTC, and ordered Amazon to reimburse the parents for at least part of the purchases their kids made. However, the court also ruled against the FTC’s request for an injunction against Amazon that would have prevented the retailer from doing the same thing in the future. Both the FTC and Amazon filed appeals against the judge’s separate decisions.
Now, both sides have decided that enough is enough and have put aside their appeals. That means the refund process that the judge originally ruled on can proceed. The FTC says that over $70 million in in-app charges made by kids between November 2011 and May 2016 could be refunded back to their parents. Details about how that refund program will work will be revealed in the near future. Amazon joins other companies like Apple and Google, both of which were ordered to refund millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges in 2014.