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July 26, 2012 / Admin

Apple Hit by Class Action Lawsuit over Iphone In-App Purchase

Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit from parents alleging the company lets minors purchase virtual goods in app games without parental approval.

Though Apple recently changed its policy to require passwords each time an in-app transaction is made, the lawsuit contends that Apple continues to profit unfairly from the sale of in-app goods. These games, downloaded for free, are known as “freemium” games. They often offer the opportunity to purchase virtual currency, that, despite the silly names, cost real money.

“The targeting of children by Apple and inducing them to purchase without the knowledge or authorization of their parents, millions of dollars of Game Currency is unlawful exploitation in the extreme,” the complaint says.

Garen Meguerian, who filed the suit, found that his 9-year-old daughter had purchased around $200 in virtual goods from free games including “Zombie Cafe” and “City Story,” without his knowledge.

“Such games are designed to induce purchases,” the complaint says. “These games are highly addictive, designed deliberately so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of Game Currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more.”

At issue is Apple’s complicity in the sale of these goods. The suit alleges that Apple is deliberately exploiting minors to make millions of dollars.

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