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Google settles with FTC over in-app charges

NEW YORK — The government says Google has agreed to pay full refunds totaling at least $19 million to consumers who were charged for purchases that children made via apps without parental consent from the Google Play app store.

The Federal Trade Commission says since 2011, consumers reported hundreds of dollars of unauthorized charges by children made within kids’ apps downloaded from the Google Play store. The charges range from 99 cents to $200.

The government says when Google first introduced in-app charges to the Google Play app store in 2011, children could buy virtual items just by clicking on popup boxes within an app while they used it. In mid- to late-2012, Google instituted a pop-up box that asked for a password before a payment could be made.

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