Apple to Refund at Least $32.5 Million in App Case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's good news for parents who've discovered that their kids have made purchases, without their permission, while using their iPads or iPhones to play games or use other mobile apps.

The government has announced a settlement under which Apple will refund at least $32.5 million to consumers. The Federal Trade Commission says there will be full refunds for any of those purchases.

The charges are racked up when kids buy imaginary items -- like make-believe currency, or food for their make-believe dragon -- using real money. Some parents have seen charges in the thousands of dollars.

One parent told the FTC that her daughter had spent $2,600 in an app called "Tap Pet Hotel." It's a game in which kids can build their own make-believe pet hotel. The game is free to download and play -- but when kids are given the chance to buy make-believe treats for their make-believe pets, they're spending their parents' real money.

Under the settlement, Apple is going to have to make it more obvious that an actual purchase, with actual money, is taking place.


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