Apple hit with class action suit alleging targeting of minors with pricey in-app purchases

A Pennsylvania man has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco alleging that the firm deliberately targets children with free applications that have appealing in-app purchases. Garen Maguerian believes that kids are purchasing in-app content and unknowingly costing their parents bundles of cash. In-app purchases are a great way to purchase extra content, such as levels or characters, in games. However, games such as Smurf’s Village or FarmVille can charge up to $99.99 for extra content that can be used to advance further in the game. “These games are highly addictive, designed deliberately so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of Game Currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more,” the suit says. Maguerian believes Apple is fostering these actions by allowing children to buy currency with the same iTunes App Store password they use to download free games. Since minors are entering the agreement with Apple to pay-up, Maguerian thinks that the contracts are not valid. “Apple has not offered to return to its account holders any of the millions of dollars it received from their minor children’s purchases,” Maguerian said in the lawsuit, which he is seeks refunds (including interest), damages, and legal fees.

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