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The FTC responds to Amazon with a court case


News by Luke Jones on Thursday July 10, 2014.

amazon news · industry news · luke jones

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Amazon and FTC in court
Amazon and FTC in court

We brought you news last week that Amazon was willing to ignore Financial Trade Commission (FTC) demands to change its in-app purchase policies. It now seems that the inevitable has happened and the regulatory body has decided to take Amazon to court.

The FTC has been angered by the way Amazon treats in-app purchases and the online retailers refund policy for mobile applications. The Commission wanted Amazon to adopt a model similar to the one enforced upon Apple earlier, but the company was willing to dig its heels in. Actually, Amazon outright said that it did not see any wrong doing and that it was willing to fight in the courts, something we said would likely result in the company being sued.

Today that has become a fact as the FTC has decided to take Amazon through the courts in an attempt to get an order that will force the company to refund people. The order would mean disgruntled parents whose children racked up huge bills from in app purchases, or those who bought faulty apps would be able to get refunds.

The FTC says the amount owed in refunds would amount to millions, much like when Apple suffered a similar fate with its app policies. The problems stem from some time ago when in 2011 Amazon lacked any kind of verification wall to stop in-app purchases. Indeed, it is only recently that the retailer turned hardware manufacturer has put any kind of restrictions into its app structure. The FTC is seeking damages for those consumers left without refunds from the time when Amazon left the wall path for in app purchases open.

Amazon's stance on the matter is that all in-app purchases are non-refundable and the company?s policies state this. The FTC wants those policies updated to give the consumers a fairer deal when trying to get their money back. Amazon has slammed the FTC while saying that it already meets industry standards and in fact surpasses Apple's model.

"Pursuing litigation against a company whose practices were lawful from the outset and that already meet or exceed the requirements of the Apple consent order makes no sense," Amazon argued, "and is an unfortunate misallocation of the Commission's resources."

source: FTC

 
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