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March 20, 2013 / Soheil Bahari

Apple Reaches Tentative Settlement for its iTunes In-App Purchases

Apple has reached a tentative settlement of the 2011 consumer fraud class action lawsuit brought against it in connection with iTunes in-app purchases, which were unknowingly purchased by consumers, mostly children, when through free games they had installed, included for-fee features.

A number of entertainment apps on Apple’s iTunes store are “free” to download, but then are enhanced with additional for-fee features that are purchased from withinthe app.   In-app materials are bought with the same Apple account used for installing those games on the devices. Apparently, Apple’s failure to disclose when charges would accrue resulted in large bills accruing for what were represented to be “free” apps.     Before   the initial class action suit was filed, Apple tried to revise its in-app purchase policy by requiring additional password entries to confirm all   in-app purchases. The lawsuit was filed even after the implementation of this policy, because plaintiffs asserted that the change would be ineffective in halting unauthorized purchases.

If the class action settlement is approved by the Court, Apple will be providing $5 iTunes gift cards to eligible members, and larger cash refunds or credits to settlement class members demonstrating that their children   bought more than $5   of in-game material without their knowledge in any 45-day period. Apple will also be offering cash refunds to those who can show unauthorized purchases greater than $30.  A special website will be set up for claims to be made seeking to recover under the class action settlement, which could involve approximately 23 million of their customers.

If you have been the victim of consumer fraud online, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.

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