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The Federal Trade Commission has long maintained that minors, who can't agree to a legal contract, can't be forced to pay for in-app purchases they make. But there are ambiguities within that policy. Do merchants overstep when they make it difficult to get reimbursed for such unauthorized purchases? And just what constitutes a "minor"?
Amazon has been especially aggressive in pursuing payments for in-app purchases, and last spring the FTC received a summary judgment in its suit against the online retailer, joining Apple and Google as companies that the FTC has successfully pursued regarding in-app sales to minors. Then, last month, a federal judge rejected the FTC's proposal for a $26.5 million fine against Amazon, but made some interesting observations at the same time.