E.U. criticizes Apple over in-app purchases, praises Google

CNET

Parents who give their children their smartphones often run the risk of being charged for in-app purchases. In the European Union, regulators are trying to crack down on the practice.

The European Commission released a statement on Friday, criticizing Apple for its lack of commitment towards protecting consumers against in-app purchases. Google was praised for quickly acting to adhere to new European guidelines.

In response to the EC rules, Google announced changes to its Play store policy. Starting this fall, apps in Google play that offer in-app purchases will no longer be labeled "free." Default settings in the Android operating system will also be changed to make sure that payment is authorized each time before an in-app purchase is made.

By contrast, the European Commission statement called out Apple, noting that, "regrettably, no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns." However, it noted that Apple has said it will propose changes.

As CNET points out, this has been an ongoing issue in the U.S. as well. In January, Apple settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, agreeing to pay $32.5 million to affected customers and change its billing methods to make sure users give "express, informed consent" before being charged for in-app purchases.

Read more on CNET.

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