Last year, Apple faced a class-action lawsuit over iOS games using the freemium model, which parents argued allowed children to easily rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars with in-app purchases. Apps would normally require a password before completing an in-app purchase, but iOS previously provided a 15-minute window after users entered their password, which subsequently allowed any in-app purchases within the time frame to complete without needing the password again. Of course, Apple no longer offers the 15-minute window. Eric Goldman’s blog (via PaidContent) reported this week that Apple’s request to dismiss the class-action suit, which alleges the company violated consumer protection laws, was refused. U.S. District Judge Edward Da Vila upheld four of the five claims from parents involved in the case:
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Contrary to Apple’s argument, Plaintiffs have alleged with specificity which misrepresentations they were exposed to, their reliance on those misrepresentations, and the resulting harm. Plaintiffs pled specific facts that Apple “actively advertis[ed], market[ed] and promot[ed] its bait Apps as ‘free’ or nominal .
PaidContent explained Apple is “relying on contract law arguments such as whether each in-app purchase was a transaction or (as Apple argues) whether the overall iTunes terms of service should apply to all the purchases. There is also a dispute about how contract law applies to minors.” Apple is expected to submit a defense for the case May 24.
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