Court finds Amazon liable for unauthorized in-app purchases made by kids


A federal judge has sided with the FTC, ruling that Amazon illegally processed payments for in-app purchases made by children without the parent’s consent. The FTC originally filed the case against Amazon in 2014, alleging that Amazon’s app store failed to properly identify applications with in-app purchases and didn’t have adequate safeguards to keep children from freely spending their parents’ money.

The next step of the process will be for the court to decide how much money Amazon will need to return to its customers. When Apple and Google settled this same complaint with the FTC, both companies paid more than $50 million to fully refund customers for inadvertent in-app purchases. Hopefully Amazon will do the right thing and agree to the same terms and refund its customer without fighting the court’s ruling and dragging things out in court for several more months.

“We are pleased the federal judge found Amazon liable for unfairly billing consumers for unauthorized in-app purchases by children. We look forward to making a case for full refunds to consumers as a result of Amazon’s actions.” – FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

Has someone in your family accidentally racked up an enormous bill from unauthorized in-app purchases?

Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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