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Google will no longer label games with in-app purchases as free

News by Luke Jones on Friday July 18, 2014.

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The fight between global authorities and tech companies over in app purchases took a turn for the better in favour of the consumer today. In Europe Google has decided to change the way in which it labels games and apps that include purchases after download. These titles have always been labelled as free because they cost nothing to download, but Google has now agreed to label them as not free.

Google said it will no longer use the word "free" to describe or advertise titles that cost nothing to download but later ask for in-app purchases. Interestingly, that would account for a vast majority of "free" games and apps in the Google Play Store, so we are interested to see just how Google will approach this. Perhaps the Play Store will now include a new section where titles with in-app purchases are placed?

After consistent pressure from the European Commission, Google has also said it will work with partners and developers to find guidelines to prevent encouraging children to make in-app purchases. The company also says it will also develop measures to make sure its practises stay within the confines of European law. All of the proposed changes will be implemented by September.

Google has fallen foul of trade authorities around the world consistently, but this move is no doubt a positive one after hundreds of thousands of complaints of accidental in-app purchases. The EU has had less success convincing Apple to take the same steps, and today the Commission criticized Cupertino for not laying down a roadmap for change, while calling Apple's in-app purchasing practices as misleading.

Both Apple and Google were forced to change their policies in South Korea earlier in the month, and Cupertino said it would adopt the forced changes globally. Google has stayed quiet on that front, so it seems that the companies behave differently depending on the region. In the US, Google and Apple have already been forced by the FTC to change its in-app purchase policies, but Amazon is fighting the body in the courts to avoid it having to make similar changes.

There's a story in here somewhere about how the freemium model is the devil's work, but we?ll leave that for another time!

source: 9to5Google

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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