Rather than face a “long and distracting legal fight,” Apple has decided to settle on a suit by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission demanding Tim Cook and company take responsibility for in-app purchases made by children without their parents’ permission. Putting the matter to rest, Apple will reimburse those claiming it was all too easy for their children to run up their credit card bill on behalf of the App Store.
As Cook points out in an email sent to employees today, Apple was already in the process of doing just that at the behest of a federal judge before the FTC decided to investigate the matter. In all, Apple contacted 28 million users who had made in-app purchases via an app geared towards kids and 37,000 filed claims to the sum of $32.5 million. The FTC settlement required as much, so Apple felt no need to argue the case further.
Cook’s email lauded the App Store as a “safe place for customers of all ages” and points to the parental controls present in iOS, including the ability to disable in-app purchases. While pointing this out now can’t do anything to change the terms of this settlement, a deal mean we should be able to put this matter to rest (for now).