Apple on Wednesday announced that it is ready to pay at least $32.5 million in refunds to settle a U.S. Federal Trade Commission complaint involving in-app purchases.
The Federal government has asked the iPad maker to refund the money following complaints from parents that the company billed them for mobile application purchases on their iPhones and iPads without consent.
Edith Ramirez, FTC Chairperson, said “Consumers should not have to sacrifice basic consumer protections to enjoy the benefits of mobile technology. This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple’s unfair billing and a signal to the business community.”
She added that as per the settlement terms, Apple must refund all unauthorised payments to the customers even if the figure amounts to $32.5 million or even more. The FTC will collect the difference, if in case the company’s payments don’t reach $32.5 million, she said.
Apple has been granted a March 31 deadline by FTC to introduce a billing system that will ensure consumers’ informed consent is obtained by the company before billing them for in-app purchases.
All apps in which minors made unauthorised purchases have been included in the settlement.
Steve Dowling, an Apple spokesperson, said “Today’s agreement with the FTC extends our existing refund program for in-app purchases which may have been made without a parent’s permission.”