FTC Takes Aim at Amazon

FTC Takes Aim at AmazonThe U.S. Federal Trade Commission is setting its sights on Amazon. And, as a result, the world’s leading online retailer and fast-emerging mobile player may be forced to pay a hefty penalty.

As it turns out, Amazon may have been processing millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app purchases from mobile apps that took advantage of young audiences.

According to a Federal Trade Commission complaint filed in federal court and obtained in a new report from NativeMobile, Amazon has allegedly “billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars” in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children.

Consequently, the FTC filed a lawsuit in hopes of forcing Amazon to issue refunds and change its in-app purchase policies.

“Amazon’s in-app system allowed children to incur unlimited charges on their parents’ accounts without permission,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez is quoted in the report. “Even Amazon’s own employees recognized the serious problem its process created. We are seeking refunds for affected parents and a court order to ensure that Amazon gets parents’ consent for in-app purchases.”

MMW will provide further updates as more insight emerges and Amazon formally responds to the allegations.