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FTC Sues Amazon for Charging Kids

kids and tablets(CNN) — It’s a scenario many parents know well. They hand their child a device to keep them busy.

But do you know what they’re doing on it?

Turns out, many kids may have been racking up millions of dollars in charges on gaming apps buying virtual items like coins, stars, or weapons. The problem is, their parents didn’t know.

And now, the Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon for allowing that to happen. The FTC says Amazon illegally charged parents for purchases their kids made on the company’s kindle fire device.

One woman claims her child spent more than $350 on in-app purchases.

So far, the FTC doesn’t have an estimate for the total unauthorized charges. But it wants Amazon to give people affected a full refund and make changes.

“We are looking for money back for the millions of dollars that consumers complained about in unauthorized charges. We want to put money back in consumers’ pockets. We also want to make sure Amazon cannot engage in practices like this in the future, and that’s why we’re seeking an order that would require them to get consent from parents before charging them in the future,” said Malini Mithal, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Amazon already changed its policy. It requires account holders to give consent for in-app purchases.

It also handed out some refunds. But the FTC is still suing and pushing for more. It also calls the lawsuit deeply disappointing, and says it has no choice but to defend its approach in court.

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