Amazon Refunding up to $70 Million for Kids' In-App Purchases

by Ben Popken /  / Updated 
Image: Live in Manhattan? Have an Amazon Prime account? Well, today is your lucky day.
Amazon Web ServicesLeon Neal / Getty Images

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For any parent whose kid racked up a big bill making in-app purchases on Amazon, a refund may be on the way.

The FTC and internet retailing giant Amazon agreed Tuesday to set aside their appeals in a case over this very issue and set the stage for a potential $70 million in refunds for purchases made from November 2011 to May 2016.

A court found last year that Amazon hadn't gotten parents' consent when their children made some in-app charges.

In-app purchases can be a significant source of revenue for app makers. Some games targeting children are designed so that it's easier to progress if you buy in-game boosts using real-world funds.

The FTC has filed similar cases in the past against Apple and Google. Following outcry, Apple added additional default protections to make it harder for children to make in-app purchases without the account holder's parents' password.

"This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies — you must get customers’ consent before you charge them," said Thomas B. Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in a press release. "Consumers affected by Amazon’s practices can now be compensated for charges they didn’t expect or authorize."

Details for the refund program run by Amazon are forthcoming. Amazon declined an NBC News request for comment.

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