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