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Amazon refuses to bend to the FTC's demands over in-app purchases

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants Amazon to update some of its policies regarding in-app purchases, but the retail giant is having none of it. According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal the company is facing a lawsuit that would require it to pay hefty fines and dramatically alter its record keeping and disclosure practices. In particular the government is concerned about purchases being made by children, but Amazon thinks its approach is sound. In fact, not only is the company refusing to change its rules, it said in a letter (PDF) that it's prepared to go to court.

The FTC wants Amazon to require passwords for all in-app purchases, make notices of additional charges more obvious and simplify the refund process. Those are rules similar to what Apple was forced to agree to last year. After receiving thousands of complaints from parents whose children racked up unauthorized charges via in-app purchases its no surprise that the agency decided to target Amazon. The company claims it has handed out prompt refunds to customers who have complained, but it seems that it wasn't until June that all in-app purchases required any form of authentication.

Amazon may be ready to take its battle to court, but the FTC has already made Apple bend to its will.

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