Judge orders Amazon to reimburse customers for in-app buys by kids

Amazon (NBC News file photo)
Amazon (NBC News file photo)

SEATTLE (AP) – A federal judge has laid out rules for how Amazon must reimburse customers whose kids made in-app purchases without permission.

The Federal Trade Commission sued the Seattle company in 2014, saying it was too easy for children to spend their parents’ money while playing games on mobile devices. The agency settled similar cases against Apple and Google.

All three companies now require a password for in-app purchases or an opt-in to enable purchases without a password.

Seattle U.S. District Judge John Coughenour found Amazon liable last spring, but he rejected the FTC’s request for a $26.5 million penalty as excessive. Instead, he said Thursday that Amazon should notify affected customers and allow them to make claims.

The judge denied Amazon’s request to reimburse the customers with Amazon gift cards.

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