An Italian competition organization has given Apple, Google, Amazon and Gameloft twenty days to submit a defence to its investigation into in-app purchases or face a fine of up to €5M ($6.9M), reports ZDNet.

The companies now have 20 days to comply with the requests for information that came with the letter, and to respond with their defences to the allegations. If the alleged violations proved to be true, the three internet giants and the European game developer could each face a fine up to €5m — although the Italian watchdog told ZDNet that the punishment would be proportional to each company’s size.

The complaint is based on two concerns. First, whether consumers are clear about the likely total cost of the app at the time they download it. Second, whether sufficient information is provided about how to prevent or limit in-app purchases, especially in games played by children.

Apple settled a similar complaint with the FTC in January, after last year offering refunds to parents whose children had made in-app purchases. At that time, Tim Cook pointed to the safeguards in place, which include the ability to disable in-app purchases with a single switch, and requiring a password for any purchases made more than 15 minutes after downloading the app.

iOS also now alerts customers that further purchases can be made within 15 minutes without re-entering their iTunes password, and all iTunes apps that offer in-app purchases are labelled as such in the App Store.

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4 Responses to “Italian authorities give Apple & others 20 days to submit defence to “unfair” in-app purchase claims”

  1. dugbug says:

    IMHO it’ should not so much In app purchases as the in app currencies. One time unlocks don’t bother me.


  2. ikir says:



  3. togetherinparis says:

    Fairness is just a word to Apple.


  4. I get that the Italian government is in desperate need of money and they can’t get anymore money out of Italian citizens but suing Apple, Google, Amazon, and Gameloft isn’t going to do them much good. For the amount their asking probably all of these companies could fight in court long enough to cause Italy to spend more money suing/fining them than they will get out of this. I’m not even sure if this is going to the Italian courts or not but the judges would probably rule in Italy’s favor anyways just as whoever a making the investigation will. It’s not the companies fault that someone downloaded an app and gets mad that they can make an in app purchase. No one forces you to make the in app purchase and if you don’t like the app after realizing you might have to make an in app purchase just delete the app. As long as you don’t make the in app purchase no ones going to make money off you either. If your kid is making in app purchases just turn off the ability to make in app purchases. Italy, I know you need money but find a better way than suing companies that have money.