Apple, Google and Amazon settle issue with Italy and the EU over freemium apps

Apple, Google and Amazon settle issue with Italy and the EU over freemium apps
Apple, Google and Amazon have come to an agreement with Italy’s Antitrust and Competition Authority. The latter agency conducted an investigation in coordination with the EU over the marketing of freemium apps. These are apps that are free for users to download, but offer in-app purchases for things like extra powers or extra lives for a video game, that can be charged to a credit card.

All three companies have agreed to stop using the word free to describe freemium apps in the EU. They also agreed to give users a warning inside the app when an in-app purchase is being made. More than half the games online in the EU use the freemium model.

Apple, Google and Amazon have 90 days to make the changes. By agreeing to make them, each company is saved from having to pay as much as $5.65 million each in fines.


The so-called "app economy" is on the way to becoming a huge economic force in Europe. The EU's own forecast has 2018 revenue from app purchases hitting $71 billion, which would be more than triple the 2013 figure. If consumers get confused by thinking that an app is completely free and that there are no charges for in-app transactions, it could prevent this "app economy" from reaching its potential.

Freemium apps can not be marketed as being free in the EU

Freemium apps can not be marketed as being free in the EU


source: WSJ

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6 Comments

1. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

why just in Europe though!! sigh

2. nenadmitrovic

Posts: 64; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

It's law in Europe that make it possible

4. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yeah, and this just makes my mind boggle, the laws in europe make total sense at least to me, to prevent companies from misleading/tricking consumers...

3. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

I live in Italy and I can assure that there would be much more important issues that our antitrust authority should address... While they're thinking about freemium apps, we have monopolies in public transport, internet, television, banks, lawyers, doctors... And they're discussing about freemium apps!

5. seanwhat

Posts: 321; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

I live in England and I can assure that there would be much more important issues that boosook should address...While he's thinking about the antitrust authority, we have world hunger, wars everywhere, global warming... And he's on here discussing about the antitrust authority! Your logic that we should only be concerned with 'the most important' issues and ignore the rest doesn't really work.

7. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

Well, technically they are free.

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