Business

Apple will refund at least $32.5 million in app case

Apple chief executive Tim Cook sent a memo to employees Wednesday about the FTC’s rebuke of the company. He indicated Apple relented to avoid a long legal battle.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook sent a memo to employees Wednesday about the FTC’s rebuke of the company. He indicated Apple relented to avoid a long legal battle.Credit: Robert Galbraith/Reuters/File 2012

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WASHINGTON — Kids gleefully snapped up virtual pet food, gems, or other items while absorbed by games on their mobile devices. Parents felt the sting of sometimes hefty charges from Apple Inc. incurred by accident or without their permission.

Following tens of thousands of consumer complaints, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that Apple will pay at least $32.5 million to settle a federal case involving those in-app purchases.

Apple also must change its billing practices to make it more obvious that an actual purchase is taking place during the course of the game or app.

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