Apple, Amazon, Google Reach Settlement With Italian Government

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Apple, Amazon, Google Reach Settlement With Italian Government
ElisaRiva / Pixabay

A settlement regarding app marketing finalized between Italian government, EU, Apple, Google, and Amazon.

Apple, Amazon, and Google reached a settlement with Italian authorities over apps misleading consumers. The tech companies landed in hot water over using the word free when describing “freemium” apps. The charges were dropped when the companies dropped the word from the descriptions.

Apple and other companies accused of unfair practices

Last summer, the Italian government and European Union launched the investigation. They claimed consumers could be confused by downloading an app for free, only to be charged later for purchasing content. The Italian Antitrust and Competition and Authority want consumers to count on protection from unfair marketing practices

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This investigation came after the EU reminded app stores to go easy on the freemium price plan. The group also pushed reform to change he system.

Families take Apple to court over app purchases

Apple made the changes last November when it replaced the “Free” button with the “Get” button. All apps and games now come with the “Get” button even if it doesn’t include in-app purchases. A large number of the free-to-play games require in-app purchases to advance the game. Parents with young children often let their kids play games on the iPhone and iPad. It’s easy for kids to make purchases during the game. There were lawsuits against Apple of angry parents who racked up huge charges on their credit cards.

One of notable lawsuits happened in 2011 when consumers accused Apple of collecting millions for collection unauthorized purchases made by children. The Cupertino-based tech giant subsequently reached a $1.2 million settlement.

Apps are a growing business as the use of smartphones and tablets continue to rise. Apple, Google, and Amazon lead the way with their respective app stores. Google and Amazon offer Android-based apps. The latter offers specially designed Android apps for Kindle tablet computers and phones.

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