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European Commission takes a closer look at Apple and Google in-app purchases policies

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday February 27, 2014.

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The European Commission is the latest government body to examine how the two largest forces in mobile app and game distribution treat in-app purchases. The Commission is meeting with representatives from Apple and Google to address concerns about games that are labeled free but have potentially exorbitant costs through in-app purchases. Watchdogs want to know why costs are not clearly explained how developers can better communicate the hidden fees related to games consumers love to play. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding told Reuters:

"Misleading consumers is clearly the wrong business model and also goes against the spirit of EU rules on consumer protection. The European Commission will expect very concrete answers from the app industry to the concerns raised by citizens and national consumer organizations."

The FTC made similar inquiries in the United States in 2013, leading the agency to urge Apple and Google to make changes to their display tactics. Apple eventually began posting warnings on the iTunes desktop app that apps have in-app purchases, but that may not be enough to satisfy regulators. Though both Apple and Google have some safeguards to help parents prevent their children from running high bills in freemium games, the European Commission appears to believe more can be done to provide better warnings about the costs of in-app purchases.

source: Reuters

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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