While stopping short of launching an official investigation, PCMag.com reports that the Federal Trade Commission say it is looking "closely" at the issues of in-app purchases from Google and Apple and whether or not consumers are being unfairly charged.
The issue first surfaced earlier this month when The Washington Post published an article about parents who were shocked to find that their kids were racking up charges via in-app purchases from popular games. The very real purchases can run as much as $99. The article notes:
Though a password is needed to make a purchase, critics say that the safeguards aren't strong enough and that there are loopholes.
Rep. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota sent a letter to the FTC asking the agency to examine the practice. Says Markey:
I am concerned about how these applications are being promoted and delivered to consumers with respect to children, who are unlikely to understand the ramifications of in-app purchases.