U.S. Rep Ed Markey Asking FTC To Investigate Apple In-App Downloads

Posted Feb 9, 2011

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) requested the Federal Trade Commission to review the way that in-app purchases are marketed within Apple applications. Markey points to a Washington Post story in a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Liebowtiz that was published about how in-app purchases on the iPad, iPod, and iPhone games are being marketed. Kids end up purchasing a large quantity of in-app content on games such as Smurfs’ Village and Tap Zoo, which leads to a higher month’s bill. Children use their parents’ passwords to make changes to the games, sometimes withou even using iTunes passwords. Apple sometimes gives 15 minute windows for downloads so you don’t have to keep inputting your passwords. In the Washington Post story, a parent reported that their child Madison Kay bought $99 batches of Smurfberries in-app goods, which led to a total bill of $1,400. [Washington Post]