Amazon paying $70 million for unauthorized ‘app’ purchases

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Internet colossus Amazon could owe you some money, if your kids bought stuff using Amazon’s smartphone “app” without your permission.

The Federal Trade Commission sued Amazon in 2014, accusing the etailing giant of billing parents for millions of dollars’ worth of unauthorized “in-app” purchases, using their smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices.

FTC officials said Amazon failed to implement strong parental controls before charging parents’ credit cards for games and other merchandise their kids were racking up on their Amazon apps.

Amazon has agreed to refund customers $70 million for unauthorized purchases between November, 2011 and May, 2016.

It is the downside of convenient online shopping–Internet retailers such as Amazon, Apple, and others require a credit card number when you download their app—even though the app itself is free.

The FTC settled with Google over the same issue for $19 million three years ago, and Apple reached a settlement that same year with the government for $32 million.

Amazon says the settlement now enables the company to start its refund process. Details of the program, which Amazon will operate, are to be announced shortly. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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