FTC and Amazon in In-App Purchasing Clash by Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book, July 22, 2014 The FTC filed charges a few days ago against Amazon, of all companies, seeking to permanently ban them from billing customers for in-app purchases without explicit consent. “Amazon.com, Inc. has billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children,” according to the FTC. From the FTC press release announcing the suit: ‘The complaint highlights internal communications among Amazon employees as early as December 2011 that said allowing unlimited in-app charges without any password was “…clearly causing problems for a large percentage of our customers,” adding that the situation was a “near house on fire.” In March 2012, according to the complaint, Amazon updated its in-app charge system to require an account owner to enter a password only for individual in-app charges over $20. As the complaint notes, Amazon continued to allow children to make an unlimited number of individual purchases of less than $20 without a parent’s approval. An Amazon employee noted at the time of the change that “it’s much easier to get upset about Amazon letting your child purchase a $99 product without any password protection than a $20 product,” according to the complaint. In July 2012, as set forth in the complaint, internal emails again described consumer complaints about in-app charges as a “house on fire” situation.’ Full FTC release here. Filed under: Revenue Tagged under: Amazon, Apps, FTC About the Author Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book Chris Trayhorn is the Chairman of the Performance Marketing Industry Blue Ribbon Panel and the CEO of mThink.com, a leading online and content marketing agency. He has founded four successful marketing companies in London and San Francisco in the last 15 years, and is currently the founder and publisher of Revenue+Performance magazine, the magazine of the performance marketing industry since 2002.