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

Apple, Google and Amazon settle issue with Italy 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.

source: WSJ

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