You may remember back in September, Google was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. At the time, it was reported the internet search giant had settled a dispute with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This was relating to claims from parents that they had been unfairly billed for IAP’s that their children had purchased. Due to the way in which Google operated (at the time) the Play Store, passwords were not always needed to purchase IAP’s and as such children were able to, on occasion, buy as many IAPs as they liked. Google did briefly change the process, but the new 30-minute open-password window also allowed additional IAP’s to be purchased once one had been. That’s why now you have to always enter your password with each purchase. Of course, the problem was they were not buying them with their money, but their parents. As a result, the FTC took the matter in hand and launched an investigation.
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Back in September, the investigation came to an end with Google agreeing to settle the claim. This meant that Google were going to have to pay back over $19 million to the parents who were charged. It is also worth noting that this $19 million tag is a minimum and Google must pay back this at least. The latest news is that, today, the FTC published its final ruling on the matter. Although, the agreement had already been settled, the FTC did open the matter to the public for them to respond. That period had now elapsed and as such the final ruling has been giving. Confirming that Google does indeed have to pay back the (minimum) $19 million.
So what happens next? Well, it is up to Google now. According to the ruling, they have one year exactly to pay back the minimum $19 million to the parents who claim they are owed. If Google fails to pay back at least the set amount or fails to pay it back within the one-year timeframe, then whatever is still outstanding will have to be paid to the FTC directly. From there on, the FTC will take-over issuing the refunds and making sure everyone receives their money back. Are you one of the parents who were charged by Google? If so, leave a comment and let us know.