Apple Inc will repay clients at least $32.5 million to settle venerable complaints that the technology company billed U.S. consumers for charges incurred by children buying mobile apps without their parents’ consent. Under the conditions of the settlement, announced on Wednesday by the national Trade Commission, Apple also will be necessary to change its billing practices to ensure it has obtained consent from consumers before charging for items sold in mobile apps.
Apple's App Store offers many games for kids, a large number of which permit in-app purchases to be made. These purchases can include virtual objects or currency, and characteristically allow faster progression in the game. In an interior memo to workers, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained that the company decided to settle rather than risk a long and distracting legal battle, because the FTC’s proposals aligned with the company’s own intended changes.