In 2011, lawmaker called for FTC investigation of possible consumer protection issues related to “in-app” purchases


Boston (September 04, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today commended the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlement with Google that requires the company to refund customers and change its mobile application billing practices to ensure consent is obtained prior to charging the consumer. In February 2011, then-Rep. Markey, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wrote the FTC calling for it to investigate industry practices regarding in-app purchases.


“Virtual purchases have real-world impacts, and I commend the FTC for taking action to protect consumers and especially children from unintended in-app charges. Requiring informed, express consent prior to charging consumers means kids can’t drain their parents’ wallets because they don’t comprehend the consequences of an in-app purchase. I appreciate Google taking concrete actions to address this issue. As the use of mobile apps becomes ubiquitous in our digital economy, I encourage the Commission to continue to monitor these applications, especially those targeted to children.”  


A copy of the February 2011 letter from then-Rep. Markey to the FTC can be found HERE