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Apple responds to European Commission statement regarding in-app purchases

Jul 19 2014, 5:17am CDT | by , in News | Apple

Apple responds to European Commission statement regarding in-app purchases
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While Apple spent $32 billion in January to refund clueless customers about in-app purchases, the executive body of the European Union said that Apple made no concrete and immediate solutions to address the concern.

Earlier today, the European Commission issued a statement rebuking Apple for its rather lackluster stance in addressing concerns linked to unauthorized in-app purchases on the App Store.

In contrast, the EC praised Google for implementing changes to its guidelines, particularly, the use of the word "free" for games supporting in-app purchases. By September 2014, Google will stop using the term "free" for applications that have in-app purchases, the EC said in a statement.

Among other things, the European Commission emphasized that games advertised as "free" must not mislead consumers.

While Apple spent $32 billion in January to refund clueless customers about in-app purchases, the executive body of the European Union said that Apple made no concrete and immediate solutions to address the concern.

"No firm commitment and no timing have been provided by Apple for the implementation of such possible future changes," the European Commission chided.

Now Apple has issued a response to counter the criticisms. Apple said that it is planning to launch an "Ask to Buy' feature that will allow children to ask their parents to buy in-app purchases for them. That way, children can still purchase goodies but with the consent of their parents.

"We are always working to strengthen the protections we have in place, and we're adding great new features with iOS 8, such as Ask to Buy, giving parents even more control over what their kids can buy on the App Store," Apple said in a statement.

Apple added that it will work with the EC to address the concerns.

"Our goal is to continue to provide the best experience for our customers and we will continue to work with the EC member states to respond to their concerns," it said. Check out Apple's response after the break.

Apple takes great pride in leading the industry in parental controls that are incredibly easy to use and help ensure a great experience for parents and children on the App Store. The parental controls in iOS are strong, intuitive and customizable. And over the last year we made sure any app which enables customers to make in-app purchases is clearly marked. We've also created a Kids Section on the App Store with even stronger protections to cover apps designed for children younger than 13.

These controls go far beyond the features of others in the industry. But we are always working to strengthen the protections we have in place, and we're adding great new features with iOS 8, such as Ask to Buy, giving parents even more control over what their kids can buy on the App Store.

Our goal is to continue to provide the best experience for our customers and we will continue to work with the EC member states to respond to their concerns.

 

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