Apple offers $5 to parents after children rack up in-app bills

iPhone maker offers parents $5 after children run up in-app payment bills

Reuters Stewart Mitchell
26 Feb 2013

Apple has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by US customers who were charged when their children racked up bills for in-app payments.

According to a court filing, Apple has proposed a settlement that would see the company offer a $5 iTunes store credit or cash to account holders who were stung by more than $30 when their children racked up big bills in so-called "bait apps", where virtual currency purchases cost real money.

The settlement could mean Apple paying out as much as $100m. The company said notice of the payment would be sent to 23 million account holders who bought the apps in question.

The lawsuit, originally filed by five parents in 2011, involved allegations surrounding purchases in certain apps, which plaintiffs claim were made by children without the knowledge or permission of the account holder.

The lawsuit also alleged that "Apple failed to adequately disclose that third-party game apps, largely available for free and rated as containing content suitable for children, contained the ability to make in-app purchases."

The proposed settlement requires court approval, with a court due to hear the settlement on 1 March.

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