Google Inc (GOOG) Sued By U.S. Parents Over Kids’ In-App Purchases

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Google Inc (GOOG) Sued By U.S. Parents Over Kids’ In-App Purchases
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Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been dragged into a legal brawl after parents of children in the United States filed a legal suit against the company. The parents alleged that their children downloaded free or low priced games from the app store, which was added to their in-app game currency without the knowledge of parents, according to a press release issued by the law firm Berger & Montague.

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Google blamed for lack of controls

According to reports from GigaOm, a mother filed a lawsuit in New York complaining that her 5 years old kid spent $65.95 on in-app purchases, when he was playing “Marvel Run Jump Smash!” on a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

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In the lawsuits, it is stated that Google Play allows users to download games for free or at a minimum price. After downloading these games, the person becomes highly addicted to them and purchases the in-app features. Within the games, a user could buy virtual currencies in large amounts, as much as $100 per purchase or more.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is also blamed in the lawsuit for lack of strict passwords. Users should enter their password before purchasing or downloading a game or buying in-app virtual currencies, according to the norms of Google. After entering the password once, a user is allowed to make purchases for up to thirty minutes without the need of entering passwords again.

“This practice is designed to enable children to purchase in-game currency without parental permission and without having to enter a password,” stated the law firm, and added that then the purchases are added to the accounts of parents or guardian.

Apple faced similar charges

Prior to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was also stuck in a similar case, where parents alleged that their kids are incurring heavy charges on in-app purchases without their permission. Apple made some changes to its app structure to keep the minors from shelling out huge money on in-app purchases.

Shanon J. Carson, one of the Berger & Monatague attorneys representing the plaintiff, said that Google has taken profits in an inequitable way by marketing free or low cost games, and by permitting them to easily incur charges for worthless in-game currency by “failing to incorporate reasonable controls such as simply requiring the entry of a password…”

A few weeks back, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) made various changes in its Play store enabling users to identify whether an app has in app purchases or not in order to make purchases more transparent for consumers.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Stupid dumb parents blame others for their inability to be parents and raise honest, conscious and smart kids. Is your job to instill values and brain in your offsprings! You dumb morons.

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